Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1/11 Trinklied, Punchlied: Drinking Songs

"Trinklied", beim Abschied), WoO109
or Farewell Drinking song)  (1792)
The unusual scoring of this song for voice, piano, and unison chorus was shared by another written around the same time, Punschlied, WoO. 111. Obviously both are early songs, certainly among the first half-dozen surviving ones in Beethoven's oeuvre.  "Trinklied" is a rousing drinking song, written on texts by an unknown author. Marked 'Allegretto' and written in the key of C, it was intended for a farewell scene among a group of friends. This song was not published in Beethoven's lifetime, most likely indicating the composer's intention to suppress it.

"Punschlied" ("Wer nicht, wenn warm von Hand") WoO 111
or "Who not, if warmly by hand"  (according to Worldlingo)
This song seems to have preceeded "Trinklied". While some musicologists have dated "Punschlied" back to 1789, it likely came around 1791, closer to the period of composition of "Trinklied". The songs appear to be twins, or at least first cousins--not simply because they are drinking songs, but because of their textual similarities. Indeed, "Trinklied" was written for the occasion of a farewell to a friend or friends, while the earlier "Punschlied" was intended for a reunion. "Punschlied" is a bit lighter in mood than the more earthy "Trinklied". It is also perhaps somewhat less colorful, sounding predictable and bland in some of its choral writing. The piano accompaniment is not particularly distinguished either, featuring rather unimaginative harmonies. Still, for all the pedestrian qualities of the song, it is joyous and full of energy, divulging a youthful charm and a brightly-lit world.
(edited version of original text by Robert Cummings)

The versions below shared by "Zarataphs" don't feature the chorus unfortunately, maybe they went off to get another round...
(Peter Schreier and Walter Olbertz)

"Trinklied", beim Abschied, WoO109 (German lyrics)
Erhebt das Glas mit froher Hand
und trinkt euch heitren Mut.
Wenn schon, den Freundschaft euch verband,
nun das Geschicke trennt,
so heitert dennoch euren Schmerz
und kranket nicht des Freundes Herz.
Nur trinkt, erhebt den Becher hoch,
ihr Bruder, hoch und singt nach treuer Freunde
weisem Brauch und singt das frohe Lied.
Uns trennt das Schicksal,
doch es bricht die Freundschaft treuer Herzen nicht.

"Drinking Song to be Sung when Saying Farewell" (ENGLISH)
Raise your glass with gladsome hand
and drink to cheer your spirits.
If he to whom you are already bound in friendship
is now parted from you by fate,
then banish your grief / brothers, banish your grief
and do not offend a friend's heart.
Drink now. raise your goblet aloft,
my brothers. Raise it aloft and sing
in accord with true friends‘ wise custom.
Sing a blithe song.
Though fate may part us, the friendship
of true hearts will not be broken.

"Punschlied" ("Wer nicht, wenn warm von Hand") WoO 111 (German lyrics)
Wer nicht, wenn warm von Hand zu Hand
der Punsch im Kreise geht,
der Freude voll're Lust empfand,
der schleiche schnell hinweg.
Wir trinken alle hocherfreut,
so lang uns Punsch die Kumme beut.

"Song ln Praise of Punch" (ENGLISH)
When hot punch is passed ln a circle
from hand to hand, let all who have not
felt joy's greater pleasures
steal swiftly away.

Rejoicing, we all go on drinking
as long as the bowl still has punch to offer. (4X)

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