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English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten

keberoxu 12 Apr 17 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,ottery 13 Apr 17 - 02:55 PM
Reinhard 13 Apr 17 - 03:50 PM
Joe Offer 13 Apr 17 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 13 Apr 17 - 06:23 PM
GUEST 14 Apr 17 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,ottery 14 Apr 17 - 05:25 AM
leeneia 14 Apr 17 - 04:07 PM
Joe Offer 15 Apr 17 - 02:46 AM
leeneia 15 Apr 17 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Grishka 15 Apr 17 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 15 Apr 17 - 04:16 PM
leeneia 16 Apr 17 - 03:41 PM
keberoxu 16 Apr 17 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,Grishka 17 Apr 17 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,keberoxu 17 Apr 17 - 11:28 AM
GUEST,Grishka 17 Apr 17 - 02:09 PM
keberoxu 17 Apr 17 - 02:53 PM
keberoxu 17 Apr 17 - 04:34 PM
keberoxu 17 Apr 17 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,Grishka 17 Apr 17 - 05:30 PM
keberoxu 17 Apr 17 - 07:46 PM
keberoxu 18 Apr 17 - 10:35 AM
Reinhard 18 Apr 17 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,keberoxu 18 Apr 17 - 03:00 PM
keberoxu 19 Apr 17 - 07:34 PM
keberoxu 21 Apr 17 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,Grishka 22 Apr 17 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 22 Apr 17 - 04:51 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 23 Apr 17 - 04:41 PM
keberoxu 25 Apr 17 - 05:48 PM
keberoxu 08 May 17 - 05:45 PM
keberoxu 28 May 17 - 03:52 PM
GUEST,Grishka 28 May 17 - 05:16 PM
keberoxu 29 May 17 - 03:34 PM
keberoxu 30 May 17 - 04:36 PM
keberoxu 30 May 17 - 08:32 PM
keberoxu 31 May 17 - 03:18 PM
keberoxu 03 Apr 18 - 11:19 AM
Joe Offer 04 Apr 18 - 01:33 AM
keberoxu 04 Apr 18 - 10:33 AM
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Subject: Fruhlingsmusikanten, by Foerster
From: keberoxu
Date: 12 Apr 17 - 07:20 PM

A parody for the arrival of spring.

FRÜHLINGSMUSIKANTEN, oder DEMAGOGISCH.

Es wollt' einmal im Königreich
Der Frühling nicht erscheinen,
Der König in der größen Noth
Berieth sich mit den Seinen,
Da wurde nach des Kanzlers Rath
Einem alten Frosch befohlen,
Mit seiner jungen grünen Schaar
Den Frühling einzuholen.

So bald der Frosch im Garten schreit,
Der König fühlt Behagen,
Der Frühling, rief er, ist nicht weit,
Laßt mich ins Freie tragen;
Da saß er denn auf sammtnem Stuhl
In schön geschmückter Jacken   
Und hörte in dem trüben Pfuhl
Den Frosch manierlich quacken.

Ein Zweiter fand sich bald dazu,
Mit ihm zu concertiren;   
Der Dritte stellte sich auch ein,
D'rauf sangen sie zu Vieren;
Ein jeder nahm das Maul recht voll,
Es schmetterten die Kehlen,
Um sich für seiner Majestät
Gehorsamst abzuquälen.

Und immer toller wird der Lärm,
Der König konnt 's nicht tragen;
Da rief er seinem Kanzler zu
Das Volk aufs Maul zu schlagen;
Der sprach, wir haben Frühlingszeit
Und bleiben euch gewogen;
So schweiget nun bei unserm Zorn,
Euch soll! ihr Demagogen.

Da loben wir uns unser Reich,
Wie sind wir wohl berathen;
Was kümmern uns die Frösch' im Teich
Und ihre Potentaten;
Der Frühling geht, der Sommer kehrt,
Der Herbst, der Winter wieder;
Wir singen fest und unverwehrt
Die allerschönsten Lieder.

by Friedrich Christoph Förster.
This began making the rounds of German periodicals around 1820.

The above lyric is the version set to music,
by composer Carl Friedrich Zelter,
for "vierstimmige Männerchöre" around 1826 (published in Berlin).


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,ottery
Date: 13 Apr 17 - 02:55 PM

I've had a go at translating it. I'm a native English speaker with a basic dilettantish knowledge of German, so take the results with a pinch of salt. I had real trouble with several lines, especially one in the fourth stanza, the bleiben euch gewogen one.

FRÜHLINGSMUSIKANTEN, oder DEMAGOGISCH.

Es wollt' einmal im Königreich
Once upon a time in the kingdom,
Der Frühling nicht erscheinen,
The Spring didn't want to appear,
Der König in der größen Noth
The King in great need
Berieth sich mit den Seinen,
Conferred with his household,
Da wurde nach des Kanzlers Rath
According to the Chancellor's advice
Einem alten Frosch befohlen,
An old Frog was ordered
Mit seiner jungen grünen Schaar
With his young green band
Den Frühling einzuholen.
To get back the Spring.

So bald der Frosch im Garten schreit,
As soon as the Frog strode into the garden,
Der König fühlt Behagen,
The King was contented,
Der Frühling, rief er, ist nicht weit,
The Spring, he cried, is not far away,
Laßt mich ins Freie tragen;
Let me bring (it) into the open;
Da saß er denn auf sammtnem Stuhl
Then he sat there on the velvet chair
In schön geschmückter Jacken   
In his fine decorated coat
Und hörte in dem trüben Pfuhl
And in the murky pool he heard
Den Frosch manierlich quacken.
The Frog croak genteelly.

Ein Zweiter fand sich bald dazu,
A second soon appeared
Mit ihm zu concertiren;   
To concert along with him;
Der Dritte stellte sich auch ein,
The third also joined in,
D'rauf sangen sie zu Vieren;
And next they sang in quartet;
Ein jeder nahm das Maul recht voll,
Each one filled up his mouth,
Es schmetterten die Kehlen,
Their throats were blaring,
Um sich für seiner Majestät
In order to obediently
Gehorsamst abzuquälen.
Labour for his Majesty.

Und immer toller wird der Lärm,
And the noise becomes ever greater
Der König konnt 's nicht tragen;
The King could not bear it;
Da rief er seinem Kanzler zu
So he called to his Chancellor
Das Volk aufs Maul zu schlagen;
To strike the people on the mouth;
Der sprach, wir haben Frühlingszeit
He said, we have Springtime
Und bleiben euch gewogen;
(And keep yourselves in good memory)?;
So schweiget nun bei unserm Zorn,
So now be quiet before our wrath,
Euch soll! ihr Demagogen.
you should – you demagogues.

Da loben wir uns unser Reich,
Thus we praise our realm,
Wie sind wir wohl berathen;
How we are well-counselled;
Was kümmern uns die Frösch' im Teich
What do the frogs in the pool matter to us
Und ihre Potentaten;
Or their potentates?;
Der Frühling geht, der Sommer kehrt,
Spring goes, Summer turns,
Der Herbst, der Winter wieder;
Autumn, Winter again;
Wir singen fest und unverwehrt
We sing resolutely and without prohibition
Die allerschönsten Lieder.
The most beautiful of all songs.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: Reinhard
Date: 13 Apr 17 - 03:50 PM

Laßt mich ins Freie tragen;
Let me be carried into the open;

Und bleiben euch gewogen;
And stay (favourably) inclined to you;


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Apr 17 - 05:04 PM

You did a darn good translation, ottery. I suppose we could offer tweaks forever, and never come up with a perfect translation. Nonetheless, here are my tweak submissions:

Mit ihm zu concertiren;   
To concert along with him;

How about, "To croak in concert with him"?




Ein jeder nahm das Maul recht voll,
Each one filled up his mouth,

"Each one brought his mouth in fully"?



And I have to say that the frogs outside my window here in the Sierra Foothills have been driving me crazy this Spring. They're just little things, but they sure make a lot of noise, dammit.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 13 Apr 17 - 06:23 PM

Better than I could have done it, for the most part! Just a few ideas.

When the old Frosch is summoned, in the opening first, he is to come with his Schaar, you called it his "band." I prefer "host," as in
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts.
A green host of frogs.

Yes, Joe Offer, this is a timely satire of spring commotion!

I am no historian. What say you all, who know your European history?
I think this satire predates Napoleon, shame on me for being uncertain.
And what were the German principalities troubled with before Napoleon?
Waiting for winter to end and spring to arrive,
that could be a metaphor for a time of deprivation and strife.
Nobody blames the Musikanten for raising their voices in hard times.
Then Spring comes, with life and growth and abundance,
and the King says, Enough already, you can stop hollering for attention....


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Apr 17 - 05:23 AM

Vielen Dank, Reinhard, Joe und Keberoxu!

Now I know what those difficult lines mean. It was worth trying a translation instead of what I should have ostensibly been doing, which was a job application. :)


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,ottery
Date: 14 Apr 17 - 05:25 AM

And that was me posting above.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: leeneia
Date: 14 Apr 17 - 04:07 PM

Thank you for the translation, ottery. No doubt that was a lot of work! There are some interesting ideas there:

sympathetic magic (the frogs croaking will make spring come)

the futility of political power (the king can't make the frogs be quiet)

the common people (musicians in this case) simply work on, while kings and seasons come and go


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Apr 17 - 02:46 AM

Well, I hope you get the job anyhow, ottery....    ;-)


And the damn frogs are croaking away right now, and it's almost midnight. When will they ever shut up?????

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: leeneia
Date: 15 Apr 17 - 09:58 AM

No doubt you've heard all the usual suggestions, Joe. Such as run a fan, try to be one with the frogs, just relax. It sounds like they are not working.

How long do the frogs keep it up? Maybe you can afford a vacation trip to a place with no frogs. Don't you have a relative or old buddy you've been meaning to visit?


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 15 Apr 17 - 03:02 PM

The word "demagogues" gives us the clue: the frogs stand for some intellectuals, and the king wants to appear liberal by allowing them to discuss freely. Think of the Arab Spring. However, when they really start making use of their freedom, the king feels threatened and denounces as demagogues the very same intellectuals he had invited before. Think of Erdoğan and his "terrorists".

The author claims to be unaffected, which could mean apolitical - were it not for the first four verses. Rather, he recommends to keep up the camouflage even in times when free speech seems to be graciously tolerated, but may be punished later.

King Frederick William III of Prussia makes a good candidate; he needed the intellectuals in order to unite the rest of Europe against Napoleon, but this done, he feared for his own power. Let us see what happens to Erdoğan tomorrow. -

The lyrics are devised specifically to be composed for a four-part male voice choir, probably of students; the third verse must be a kind of fugue or similar. The poem has sometimes been falsely attributed to Goethe, if Google serves me.

What my dictionary says:
"Den Mund voll nehmen": to brag, to talk big
"Euch soll ...!" - presumably "... der Teufel holen!"; may the devil take you; go to hell.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 15 Apr 17 - 04:16 PM

Thanks, Grishka. As I recall, Zelter kept his four-part male chorus setting on the strophic side, and did not take advantage of the polyphonic opportunity afforded by Verse 3.

Yes, this was a time with many periodicals and journals publishing poetry, and after all it was Berlin. When Foerster first allowed his poem to be printed in the "Merkur," it was printed with just his initial, "von F."

Another periodical or two then grabbed the poem and printed it attributing it to Goethe.
A letter exists, in which Goethe was written to by his friend and colleague, who happens to be Carl Friedrich Zelter, the composer.    Zelter relates to Goethe that this poem has been attributed to him; that some composer nobody has heard of set it to music, and that the music stinks! So, Zelter explains, he himself will set it to music; and he just wants to be clear that HE knows it isn't by Goethe.

The poem goes through a lot of variation as it is printed in various places. At one point the "kingdom" is "Turkisch."


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: leeneia
Date: 16 Apr 17 - 03:41 PM

I don't believe the song is a metaphor for politics. 'Demagogen' is there merely to rhyme with 'gowogen'. The last verse makes it clear that the poem is about spring and music.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Apr 17 - 06:31 PM

To this last post, a most useful alternative comes from a periodical of the day. I will keep the quote in its original German:
not to be impenetrable, but for accuracy.
And somebody with better German then I,
can tell us in English exactly what is meant by the quote.

"Aber noch sträflicher würd' mit dem Herrn F.[Förster] verfahren, der drei Frühlingslieder gesungen hat.
Warum? Lesen Sie nur!
Im zweiten Lied ruft der Kaiser einen Frosch auf, zu quaken, damit der Frühling komme."

he quotes the poem

"Ist das nicht offenbare, ultraliberale Satyre auf die deutschen Sieges- und Freiheits-Poeten, die nun, da der Frühling da ist (nur noch etwas windig), nicht mehr quaken sollen?
"Und im dritten Lied ist von der Freiheit der Maikäfer die Rede (die bekanntlich im Summen und Brummen besteht), und es heißt am Schlusse:

Werd ich geheimer Rath,
Ich sag's dem König g'rad,
Das Volk will Freiheit üben,
Bei vollem Becher lieben,
Und brummen, -- ja, brummen.

"Ist das nicht wieder Stichelei?
Nein, so etwas ließ' ich nicht hingehen, wenn man nicht, eben dieses loyal-literarischen Sinnes wegen, mich erdolcht hätte."

written by August von Kotzebue in the "Merkur," 21 Juni 1821.
Should we let him have the last word? Or not?


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 04:17 AM

keberoxu: Note that Kotzebue wrote that from afterlife, having actually been stabbed in 1819.


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Subject: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 11:28 AM

After his assassination, Kotzebue was very much in the minds and hearts of his editors, publishers, and readers, not only from his own original work (numerous plays, and some song-lyrics which were remembered long after his plays were forgotten), but also his editorials, critiques, and essays.
So there was plenty of post-humous publishing going on.

The 21 Juni 1821 date is accurate, in that it was in the issue from that date that the "Merkur" printed the specific essay. I could use the information about when Kotzebue actually wrote that essay.

It would be useful, this information, as Friedrich Förster, who had more important things to do, was rather dismissive of his little Frühlingslied about the Kaiser/König and the Frösche. So much so that Förster never disclosed, that I can find, the actual date in which he wrote the satire. It is already helpful to deduce that his "demagogisch" Frühlingslied was making the rounds of the publishers and editors before Kotzebue's assassination in 1819. I have looked hard, regarding Förster, and it is really difficult to locate documentation of this particular satire before 1820, in fact.

It remains to be noted, what Grishka already knows well.
The assassination of Kotzebue -- after which the killer was convicted and executed -- was most expedient for a certain Prince Metternich. The tragedy gave Metternich an excuse for censorship and even surveillance. Which is quite the ironic turn of events following the publication of "Frühlingsmusikanten."
Metternich in 1819: "Today the greatest evil ... is the press."


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 02:09 PM

Nein, so etwas ließ' ich nicht hingehen, wenn man nicht, eben dieses loyal-literarischen Sinnes wegen, mich erdolcht hätte.
translates:

"No, I would not let such things pass through censorship, if I had not been stabbed to death exactly because of that literary loyalism."

In other words: the author was not really Kotzebue (who is being parodied as a loyalist), but yet another satirist for the liberal opposition.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 02:53 PM

Whoa! Full stop! And propers to Grishka who caught me out. It serves me right for submitting something, in a language that is not my native language, without taking the time to examine the quote word by word.

No, I had paid no attention to the fact that "erdolchen" means to stab with a knife....I'm used to "stechen" and its variants, but "erdolchen," no. This assures that I shall never forget what "erdolchen" means.
Which is how I often learn....the hard way.

Yes, those were interesting times indeed. You had the German-speaking kingdoms and principalities and all, you had all these diverse interests because these places were not unified. You had Austria, which gave us Metternich, whose name is now a byword for diplomacy, the kind of diplomacy that requires nerves of steel. You had the Enlightenment. You had Sturm und Drang, which I guess had already crested, but its influence was still being felt, with all this passionate emotion in both literature and music. There was prosperity, not for all, but enough to give people ambitions and ideas.

And you know who else was in the public eye?

I think his Christian name was actually Wilhelm, but his penname was E. T. A. Hoffmann. If you know your operatic repertoire, you recognize him from "Les contes d'Hoffmann," or "The Tales of Hoffmann," one of those war-horses without which the opera houses would not stay open. And even for opera this is unusual, this case. This is no fictitious character; this is an artist/writer who wrote fiction, who composed music, who was a playwright with productions in the theater, and whose tragic demise and conflicted life-story elevated his reputation to that of a myth in his own right. Hoffmann has, since his death, joined the ranks of those called poètes maudits, "doomed poets."

If that sounds like a change of subject / thread drift, that is one side of the discussion.
On the other side: Hoffmann set to music, in this case for four-part women's chorus, a satire by -- you guessed it -- Friedrich Förster. The "object" in the satire is a "Kaiser" of "Turkey." And its tongue is firmly planted in cheek, both in words and music. I just looked, online for the first time, at a file of the first page of the vocal score, and it is intended to make you laugh. Hoffmann's melody, in parallel thirds in the divided soprano section, is a clear rip-off of the notorious:

I will sing you a song
And it won't take very long....

opening bars to "The Streets of Cairo", the tune that sounds like snake-charmer music. It's a hoot.
Since it has the same poet as the Frühlingsmusikanten, I may attach Förster's poetic satire to this thread in a future post.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 04:34 PM

But first, here is a rough-and-tumble attempt at a sloppy English translation of the satire in the OP, taking into account all the excellent suggestions, definitions, and explanations on this thread.

MUSICIANS FOR SPRINGTIME, or Demagogue-ish.

Once upon a time, in the kingdom,
Spring did not wish to arrive.
The King, in great need,
Conferred with his Cabinet.
According to the Chancellor's counsel,
An old frog was sent for,
With his young green host of frogs,
To announce the coming of Spring.

As soon as the Frog strode into the [royal] Garden,
The King felt contented.
The Spring, he cried, is not far away,
Let me be carried out in the fresh air.
Then he sat there in his velvet [sedan?] chair,
Wearing his fine ornamented jacket,
And heard, in the murky pool,
The good-mannered croaking of the frog.

A second [frog] soon appeared
To croak in concert with him,
The third also joined in,
And then they sang as a quartet.
Each one croaked really loud [to outdo the others -- boast?],
Fit to burst their throats;
So as, for the sake of His Majesty,
To do most obedient service.

And ever greater was the commotion,
The king could not stand it;
So he called to his Chancellor
To smack the people's mouth shut.
He said, We have Springtime now
And are favorably disposed to you,
So now shut up before our wrath
And go to --!!, you Demagogues.

Thus we praise our kingdom,
How we are well-counselled,
What do the frogs in the pond matter to us,
Or their potentates?
Spring goes, Summer returns,
And again Autumn and Winter;
We sing resolutely and without prohibition
The loveliest of songs.

Thanks everybody!
Next comes the Kaiser of Turkey...


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 05:19 PM

Hofmeister-Verlag publishes -- available currently -- an edition of this E. T. A. Hoffmann a-cappella chorus.
Their version is for women's voices for some reason.
But I am corrected upon checking the bibliography lists of Hoffmann's collected works.
He actually composed this chorus for the "jüngere Liedertafel zu Berlin."
These, without question, would be MEN'S voices, in four-part harmony.

Again, the poet is Friedrich Förster.

TÜRKISCHE MUSIK.

Ein Kaiser einst in der Türkei,
Er hieß von Gottes Gnaden!
Hatte sein getreues Volk herbei
Zu einem Fest geladen;
Er saß zu Thron im vollem Glanz
Umlagert von Trabanten,
Da rief das Volk: zu unserm Tanz,
Herr, schick uns Musikanten.

Der Zimbelschläger war zu Hand,
Er ließ sein Spiel erklingen;
Wo er gefüllte Beutel fand,
Die mußten klingend springen.
Das Silber und das feine Gold,
Das er heraus geschlagen,
Er lachend in den Säckel rollt,
Dem Kaiser heimzutragen.

Der Fiedeler war auch nicht faul
Mit seinem Fiedelbogen,
Wer hinterher ein schiefes Maul
Beim Zimbelspiel gezogen,
Den spannt er in die Fiedel ein,
Sich angenehm zu zeigen,
Und mogten alle "Zeter" schrei'n,
Er ließ nicht nach mit Geigen.

So wurden sie gezwickt, gezwackt,
Gezimbelt und gestrichen,
Und war nun irgend aus dem Takt,
Ein armer Schelm gewichen, --
Da sprang der Trommler schnell hervor,
Das Trommelspiel zu rühren,
Zog ihm das Fell dicht übers Ohr,
Das rechte Maaß zu spüren.

Der Kaiser, dem der Tanz gefiel,
Rief sich die Musikanten,
Die sich sofort nach ihrem Spiel
Ludi-Ministri nannten.
Dem Fiedler gab er die Justiz,
Dem Zimbler die Finanzen,
Dem Trommler aber die Militz
Und ließ dann weiter tanzen.

--Friedrich Förster, identified as "F. F.",
printed in Elftes Heft,
<>Neue Berliner Monatschrift für Philosophie, Geschichte, Literatur und Kunst.
Berlin: bei Ernst Heinrich Georg Christiani, 1821. Digital file from the Bavarian State Library.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 05:30 PM

In my opinion, the last verse means:

We rather keep to our own domain;
How well are we advised
Not to mind the frogs in the pond
And their potentates;
Spring will go; summer,
Autumn, and winter will return;
We sing resolutely and uninhibitedly
The most beautiful of songs.

To be read: we are well-advised not to rely on royal permission. Any satire that the censor can understand will deservedly be forbidden (- who said that? Mark Twain?) –

"Erdolchen": I checked several dictionaries, and they all have it. My scholarship is comprised of Wiktionary, Wikipedia, Google - often just minutes old.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Apr 17 - 07:46 PM

Grishka, I bow to you. What you say is right and just. I stand cheerfully rebuked.

Hoo, good golly Miss Molly.
This "Turkish Music" satire appears, even with my lazy ill-informed German,
dangerously sharp, sharp enough to cut myself!

There are a number of levels at play in this poem / lyric.

Turkish Music had an association with the military forces of the Ottoman Empire, with which Austria in particular was familiar. Mozart, years before, had put "turkish music" sound effects into piano music and symphonic music alike, to say nothing
of Mozart's "Abduction from the Seraglio." The popular clichéd effect was made at least with cymbals and drums; add a triangle and a flute or piccolo, and the Turkish military sound was complete to the Austrian ear.

As the Musikanten play for the Kaiser and his courtiers around the throne, there is more than dancing going on. Coins are appearing out of nowhere on the floor. I mean to say, people are digging in their pockets for coins and throwing them towards the musicians...at least that is what seems, to me, to be happening. And each of the three Musikanten are scooping up the silver and the gold, and fetching the money to the Kaiser.

Whoa, this is a metaphor for....what? It's a loaded one in any case!

What are the "gefüllte Beutel" anyway?
Are they "sacks of booty," or are they more like people with deep pockets? Or both?

The trio in Förster's satire are actually a cymbal-smasher, a fiddler, and a drummer. I think the fiddler is there for a verbal reason. To repeat from the previous, that high melody would more conventionally be a wind instrument from the military band, such as a flute or piccolo. But a violin is substituted for it, and I think the advantage to the poet, is that there is a figure of speech involving "nach mit Geigen laßen" which is new to me.

In the final stanza, the Kaiser is so pleased, particularly with the money the Musikanten rake in, that he appoints them to his Cabinet!
He names the fiddler to the judiciary branch somewhere.
He makes the cymbal-smasher the Minister of Finance, as in, "KA-CHING!"
While the drummer gets the military. Or something like that.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Apr 17 - 10:35 AM

The "Türkische Musik" composer is E. T. A. Hoffmann,
this stands for Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, for those who ask.
His year-dates are 1776 - 1882.
He did not compose "Les contes d'Hoffmann," he is a character in it,
and his "Erzählungen"/contes/fairytales inform the plot.
The opera's music is by Offenbach.

Back to Türkische Musik:

what are "Zetel"?
or "LUDI"- ministers?


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: Reinhard
Date: 18 Apr 17 - 10:48 AM

"Zetern" means to moan or to complain loudly.

"Ludi" is Latin for public games.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 18 Apr 17 - 03:00 PM

Reinhard, vielen Dank!

I'm in no hurry to piece together my own attempt at translating
the Türkische Musik" satire. In my own time I might chip away at it.
In the meantime, anybody else is welcome.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 Apr 17 - 07:34 PM

Regarding the OP:

The original lyric, as published by Friedrich Förster as one of his Drei Frühlingslieder, went through some changes
before Carl Friedrich Zelter set it to music for men's four-part chorus.
Many of the changes are trifling details, some are amusing.

In Förster's original poem, the fellow is not a König, but a Kaiser.

And when the Kaiser is carried out in his velvet chair,
there is nothing about an ornamented jacket -- "Jacken"
with which to rhyme conveniently with the "quacken" of the Frosch.

Instead, Förster wrote:

"Da saß er denn auf sammtnen Stuhl
Und wehrte sich die Schnaken...."

which I have worked out to mean:

"There he sat in his velvet chair
And fended off the midges...."


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Apr 17 - 03:06 PM

Here goes: an attempt at a translation into English, verse by verse,
of "Turkish Music" by Friedrich Förster.


Once in the empire of Turkey,
The emperor, so titled by the grace of God,
Had summoned his subjects to his presence
With an invitation to a celebration.
The emperor sat on his throne in full regalia
Surrounded by all of his courtiers,
And the people in attendance petitioned him:
Lord, send for musicians to accompany our dancing.

The cymbal player was at hand,
He let his cymbal-playing resound.
Where he found bulging purses and wallets,
Their coins must chime along with the cymbals.
The silver and the fine gold
That leaped out in time to his rhythm,
He rolled up in the moneybags with a smile,
To fetch it back to the emperor.

Nor did the fiddler slacken
with his violin bow.
Anybody in the back, whose response to the cymbal music
was to pull a wry, displeased grimace of a smile,

....

Whew.
At this point, the wordplay is more than my meager German can work with.
The rest of this stanza uses German words
about tightening and tensing, or slacking, strings.
So there is some figure of speech at work
that implies not only a stringed instrument
but a performer playing his audience like a violin, as it were.
And maybe some subtleties that go straight over my head.

I will stop translating here
and offer the rest of this stanza to the readers at large.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 22 Apr 17 - 03:19 PM

Good work, keberoxu. Here is my continuation:

... was strung into the fiddle,
in order to appear more pleasant,
and even if they all shouted "Woe!"
he would not stop fiddling.

Thus they were tweaked and pinched,
cymballed and bowed,
and if
any poor fool would lose the beat,
the drummer would jump forth
to strike the drum roll,
and slough him tightly up his ears,
so that he may sense the right measure.

The emperor, delighted by this dance,
appointed the musicians
immediately, according to their performance,
to be titled Ludi-Ministri.
To the fiddler he assigned the Ministry of Justice,
to the cymbalist the Treasury,
to the drummer the Militia,
and let them continue the dance.

---
Ludi-Ministri: a wordplay based on Latin "ludi magistri" (= elementary teacher)


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 22 Apr 17 - 04:51 PM

Bravissimo, Grishka!


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 23 Apr 17 - 04:41 PM

This thread's posts for 16 and 17 April, some of the posts anyway, can be confusing. A word of clarification might help.

The comments about "Frühlingsmusikanten," with the tragically assassinated dramatist/poet Kotzebue pulled in: that's all my fault.
Grishka is entirely correct here:   there is a satirical conceit
at work, in which a different writer impersonates Kotzebue
"aus der Unterwelt," from the underworld, literally.

I was so tickled when books dot google dot com pulled up
what appeared to be a contemporary criticism of Friedrich Förster's satirical poem,
that I rushed to post it here.
And totally messed up in doing it, because it is satirical
and parodying on multiple levels, and I missed most of it.

The fellow who wrote,
pretending to be Kotzebue in the afterlife,
was actually a journalist critic named Adolf Müllner,
who wrote scathing criticism
and specialized in sensational "Schicksal"-dramas.
Müllner knew Kotzebue personally, so he had some investment emotionally
in pretending to be an author whom even death could not silence.
Oh what times he lived in.


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Subject: Chorley's Music and Manners (Tait's Edinburgh)
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Apr 17 - 05:48 PM

Since the lyrics on this thread come from part-songs, for men's choruses in Germany,
a contemporary report on this musical trend might be of interest.
This report was excerpted and printed in Tait's Edinburgh Magazine for 1841 (can be found at books dot google dot com).

These part-songs are too little known in England, as one of the most national and not least engaging features in modern German music....It is forty years since [the composers] Zelter and his friend Flemming founded at Berlin a congregation of staid elderly men, who met once a month to sit down to a good supper, and to diversify the pleasures of the table with by singing four-part songs, principally composed by themselves. Their number was forty; and far the larger part of it composed of amateurs or men in office. It was an original statute that no-one was eligible as a member who was not a composer, a poet, or a singer....Goethe used to give his songs to be composed by Zelter; and many of them were sung at the Berlin "Lieder-Tafel" before they were printed or known elsewhere.

....[A] younger generation of musicians founded a young "Lieder-Tafel" society, on the same principle, and for the same number of members. Friedrich Förster wrote some very pretty song [lyrics] for it. Hoffmann, the novel writer and Kapellmeister, made it one scene of his strange and extravagant existence; and left behind him there an immortal comic song -- "Türkische Musik," the words by Friedrich Förster. In general, a gayer and more spirited tone pervaded this younger society than belonged to their classical seniors. It was the practice of both bodies to invite guests on holiday occasions; and by the younger part-singers, ladies were admitted twice a year. Nothing could be sprightlier or pleasanter -- a little extra noise allowed for -- than these latter meetings.

Honour, then, to the part-songs of Germany, and better acquaintance with them! is not the worst toast one could propose at a[n] [English] glee club.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 May 17 - 05:45 PM

This lyric has nothing subtle about it. It's worth a laugh or two.

SÄNGERHASS.

Wir Sänger hassen die Lieder,
Die dumm und schlecht und seicht,
Die uns alle zuwider,
Und wären sie noch so leicht!
-- Doch wenn wir ein Liedchen finden,
So kräftig, so frisch und gesund,
Die Herzen so recht zu entzünden,
Das singen wir alle Stund'.

Wir Sänger hassen die Schönen,
Die nicht das Lieben versteh'n,
Die werden nie uns versöhnen,
Die mögen ins Kloster geh'n!
-- Doch so uns ein Mädchen nicht wehret
Zu küssen den rothen Mund,
Das wird gar brünstig verehret,
Das küssen wir alle Stund'.

Wir Sänger hassen das Trinken,
Von schlechtem Bier und Wein,
Dem Wasser, so hell es mag scheinen,
Dem können wir Freund nicht sein!
-- Doch wenn so ein Tränklein fliesset,
Fein goldig und klar von dem Spund,
Das wird mit Freuden gegrüsset,
Das trinken wir alle Stund'.

The poet is identified as H. Linde, in
"Lieder- Texte für die deutschen Sänger Amerika's,"
published in New York City in 1896.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 May 17 - 03:52 PM

A popular lyric by Kotzebue is going to be my rounding-out of this thread. It's been translated by James Clarence Mangan, no less, so I hope to get his English version in here, in a future post.

This is one of Kotzebue's poems in the "volksthümliche" vein, meant to sound like a popular drinking song. When Kotzebue was shockingly assassinated (see earlier posts), he was best known for his plays and his journalism. Today, if any of his plays are doing anything but gathering dust on the shelves, it is news to me. Kotzebue's poems and song lyrics, however, have endured in musical settings, which have been re-published in anthologies and sung long after his death.

Es kann ja nicht immer so bleiben,
Hier unter dem wechselnden Mond;
Es blüht eine Zeit und verwelket
Was mit uns die Erde bewohnt.

Es haben viel fröhliche Menschen
Lang vor uns gelebt und gelacht;
Den Ruhenden unter dem Rasen,
Sei freundlich ein Becher gebracht!

Es warden viel fröhliche Menschen
Lang' nach uns des Lebens sich freun,
Uns Ruhenden unter dem Rasen
Den Becher der Fröhlichkeit weihn.

Wir sitzen so freundlich beisammen,
Wir haben einander so lieb;
Wir heitern einander das Leben,
Ach, wenn es doch immer so blieb'!

Doch weil es nicht immer so bleibet,
So haltet die Freude recht fest;
Wer weiß denn, wie bald uns zerstreuet
Das Schicksal nach Ost und nach West!

Und sind wir auch fern von einander,
So bleiben die Herzen sich nah!   
Und Alle, ja Alle wird's freuen,
Wenn Einem was gutes geschah.

Und kommen wir wieder zusammen,
Auf wechselnder Lebensbahn,
So knüpfen an's fröhliche Ende
Den fröhlichen Anfang wir an!

as set to music by
Friedrich Heinrich Himmel,
Deutsche Weisen, Stuttgart: Albert Auer, 1900. Pages 142 - 143.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 28 May 17 - 05:16 PM

Lovers of Comic Opera (a genre that in terms of comicality must not be equated with today's "sitcoms") may know The Poacher based on a play by Kotzebue, with truly magnificent music by Lortzing. If you can spare 3:12 minutes, watch this overview. I cannot find an English version.

For those who cannot be bothered to read up on the topic: Kotzebue was certainly opposed to the students' revolutionary movement, also a friend of the St. Petersburg high-society (in spite of being forcibly exiled to Siberia for a while), and thus stabbed for a reason, but he was not in favour of censorship and could be quite satirical himself.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 May 17 - 03:34 PM

So "Der Wildschütz" would be an operetta?
Those light-sounding genres are in some ways the most difficult and demanding. The timing has to be just right, and the touch not too heavy.

The German-language operetta branched out, in time,
to Victor Herbert, whose stage productions led to
Broadway musicals.
A long way, indeed, from sitcoms.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 May 17 - 04:36 PM

The preceding German-language poem by Kotzebue leads to this version,
in English translation.

BE MERRY AND WISE

No beauty, no glory, remaineth
Below the unbribable skies:
All Beauty but winneth and waneth --
All Glory but dazzles and dies.

Since multitudes cast in a gay mold
Before us have lived and have laughed,
To the slumberers under the claymould
Let goblet on goblet be quaffed!

For millions in centuries after
Decay shall have crumbled our bones
As lightly with revel and laughter
Will fill their progenitors' thrones.

Here banded together in union
Our bosoms are joyous and gay.
How blest, could our festive communion
Remain to enchant us for aye!

But Change is omnipotent ever;
Thus knitted we cannot remain;
Wide waves and high hills will soon sever
The links of our brotherly chain.

Yet, even though far disunited,
Our hearts are in fellowship still,
And all, if but one be delighted,
Will hear it with Sympathy's thrill.

And if, after years have gone o'er us,
Fate bring us together once more,
Who knows but the mirth of our chorus
May yet be as loud as before!

James Clarence Mangan,
from Volume II of Anthologia Germanica: A Garland from the German Poets.
Dublin: James Duffy and Sons,
sometime before 1849
pages 184 - 185

Mangan, as he so often does, makes his rhyming translation into a fairly free paraphrase of the original.
Mangan's translations appear elsewhere in the Mudcat forum, for instance in a thread on the poet Georg Herwegh.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 30 May 17 - 08:32 PM

Friedrich Heinrich Himmel, who set to music Kotzebue's
"Es kann ja nicht immer so bleiben",
also set this Kotzebue text to music -- it suits this thread well.

Die ganze Welt ist ein Orchester,
Wir sind die Musikanten drin.
Die Harmonie ist unser Schwester,
Sie gibt uns wahren Menschensinn.

Die großen Herren dirigiren
Und geben obendrein der Takt;
Die armen Teufel musicieren,
Oft weniger, oft mehr exakt.

Andante heißt das rechte Tempo,
Allegro musß bei Reichen sein,
Bei großen Herren Maestoso,
Wir fistuliren hinterdrein.

Doch mancher spielt auch oft vergebens!   
Denn seine Saiten sind nicht rein;
Und so ein Mann verdient zeitlebens
Ein Balgentreter nur zu sein.

Words by August von Kotzebue
music by Friedrich Heinrich Himmel
from the Vaudeville: "Fanchon, das Leiermädchen"
published in the anthology
Volksthümliche Lieder der Deutschen im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert,
edited by Franz Magnus Böhme.
Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1895
Song no. 669, page 496


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 31 May 17 - 03:18 PM

Regarding,
"Die ganze Welt ist ein Orchester,"
or
"The whole world is an orchestra" :

many of the words in this poem have musical usage.
The words borrowed from Italian are easily recognized:
Andante, Allegro, Maestoso, Tempo.

Some of the German words are less familiar.
"Balgentreter" means somebody blowing the bellows (Balg).
"Fistuliren" may mean singing falsetto, although it relates to pipe organs sounding harmonics when they overblow the fundamental tone.

"Takt" of course is the beat, the measure.


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Apr 18 - 11:19 AM

Another year, another spring:

Joe Offer, are the frogs driving you distracted this year?


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 18 - 01:33 AM

You betcha, keberoxu. I don't know what's worse, my tinnitus or the frogs. The tinnitus goes away if I don't think of it, but not the frogs. I get a moment of peace if I stand next to the pond - then they all shut up. When people call me, they wonder what that horrible noise is in the background - it's the frogs. They're tiny, but make a big sound.
And there's bajillions of them.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
From: keberoxu
Date: 04 Apr 18 - 10:33 AM

After a full year and more of Trumplestiltskin,
the Fruhlingsmusikanten song,
as well as the Turkische Musik song,
those lyrics
have a reverberation they didn't have
when I first posted them to this thread.


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