Imaginary Sheep and Other Fantastic Tales

Soprano & Accordion Score: PDF
Soprano & Piano Score: PDF

Audio: YouTube (accordion version)
1. Das ästhetische Wiesel Mvt1
2. Die Trichter Mvt2
3. Geburtsakt der Philosphie Mvt3
4. Die Unterhose Mvt4
5. Denkmalswunsch Mvt5
6. Der Sperling und das Kangaruh Mvt6
7. Die Fledermaus Mvt7

Instrumentation: soprano, accordion (or piano)
Vocal Range: C4 - G5
Duration: ca. 13:00
Year of Completion: 2011
Program Notes

The poetry of Christian Morgenstern (1871 - 1914) contains a striking amount of humor mixed with metaphysical musings and clever wordplay in his native German tongue. Inspired by the English tradition of literary nonsense, Morgenstern's works remain popular in both German and English editions. This cycle attempts to capture some of the magic inherent in Morgenstern's poetry, focusing on animal imagery and emphasizing the humor found in the text. My longtime friends Rob and Melissa Overton selected the seven poems for the piece and commissioned the work, which is dedicated to both of them.

"Die asthetische Wiesel" is perhaps the most humorous movement of the cycle, discussing a clever weasel sitting on a stone. "Die Trichter" is a shape poem - the words form a funnel, represented by two twisting musical lines. "Geburtsakt der Philosophie" ponders the very first meeting of sheep and man, but which is real? "Die Unterhose" portrays a set of underpants swinging carefree on a clothesline. "Denkmalswunsch" is a beautiful song for a memorial monument that guarantees eternal remembrance rather than simply a chair for birds. "Der Sperling..." is a curious interaction between a sparrow and a kangaroo. In the finale "Die Fledermaus" a bat enters the concert hall and wreaks havoc, only to be quickly dispatched by a brave young waiter.