free score


I wrote “Mittag” for my sister Guenaelle for her 18th birthday in 2016 and premiered it with her at Jugend musiziert.

The text is by Paul Barsch and describes a hot summer afternoon in nature, where it is so hot that almost nothing moves. Only one snake twitches out briefly, but then quickly lies down again. All the other animals have retreated to their homes to wait out the evening.

In this song I tried to convey the oppressive heat with as few notes as possible. Except for very few passages, the piano plays exclusively one or two notes at a time and the time signature is completely obscured by long notes and overlays. There is no rhythm, the individual notes fade away unheard in the silence. The singing voice has many passages without accompaniment that seem just as empty and oppressive.

The song exists in a high and a low version.

"Mittag", by Paul Barsch (1860-1931):

Kein Ton, kein Hauch. Das Bergtal ruht

In greller Mittagssonnenglut.

Und Gras und Blumen, Strauch und Baum

Umfängt es wie ein tiefer Traum.

Da plötzlich aus dem Blumenflor

Blitzt jäh ein Schlangenhaupt empor.

Es starrt zur Ferne unbewegt,

Als hätt sich's leise dort geregt.

Nur Täuschung war's. Die Schlange neigt

Sich still zurück, der Mittag schweigt.

Wie Traum liegt's auf dem Blumenflor,

Und Frieden ist es, wie zuvor.

Instrumentation: voice, piano

Length: 4 min

Mezzosoprano: Guenaelle Mörth, piano: Julian Mörth