Knecht Ruprecht (David Millard)

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  • (Posted 2013-09-10)  CPDL #30093:     
Editor: David Millard (submitted 2013-09-10).   Score information: Letter, 10 pages, 81 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Knecht Ruprecht
Composer: David Millard

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularChristmas (secular)

Language: German
Instruments: Piano

First published: 2013
Description: Knecht Ruprecht is a sinister personage who works as a servant of the Christ Child at Christmas delivering treats to good children and birch rods for bad children. The poem is by Theodor Storm (1817-1888) and presents a dialogue between Knecht Ruprecht and the Christ Child. There are solos for a Boy Treble (recommended) or Soprano and for a Tenor.

External websites:

Original text and translations

German.png German text

Von drauß' vom Walde komm ich her;
Ich muss euch sagen, es weihnachtet sehr!
Allüberall auf den Tannenspitzen
Sah ich goldene Lichtlein sitzen;
Und droben aus dem Himmelstor
Sah mit großen Augen das Christkind hervor;

Und wie ich so strolcht' durch den finstern Tann,
Da rief's mich mit heller Stimme an:
"Knecht Ruprecht", rief es, "alter Gesell,
Hebe die Beine und spute dich schnell!
Die Kerzen fangen zu brennen an,
Das Himmelstor ist aufgetan,
Alt' und Junge sollen nun
Von der Jagd des Lebens einmal ruhn;
Und morgen flieg ich hinab zur Erden,
Denn es soll wieder Weihnachten werden!"

Ich sprach: "O lieber Herre Christ,
Meine Reise fast zu Ende ist;
Ich soll nur noch in diese Stadt,
Wo's eitel gute Kinder hat."

"Hast denn das Säcklein auch bei dir?"
Ich sprach: "Das Säcklein, das ist hier:
Denn Äpfel, Nuss und Mandelkern
Essen fromme Kinder gern."

"Hast denn die Rute auch bei dir?"
Ich sprach: "Die Rute, die ist hier;
Doch für die Kinder nur, die schlechten,
Die trifft sie auf den Teil, den rechten."

Christkindlein sprach:" So ist es recht;
So geh mit Gott, mein treuer Knecht!"

Von drauß' vom Walde komm ich her;
Ich muss euch sagen, es weihnachtet sehr!
Nun sprecht, wie ich's hierinnen find!
Sind's gute Kind, sind's böse Kind?

Theodor Storm (1817–1888)

English.png English translation

From afar, from the forest I come here;
I must tell you, it is truly Christmastide!
Everywhere, on the tops of the fir trees
I saw little golden lights were placed
and above them from the Gate of Heaven
I saw with wide eyes the Christ Child before me.

And as I wandered through the shady trees,
He called out to me with a clear voice:
“Knecht Ruprecht!”, he called, “Old Companion,
Pick up your legs and hurry along!
The candles are starting to burn,
The Gate of Heaven has been opened;
Old and young must now
rest awhile from the pursuits of life,
and tomorrow I will fly down to earth;
then it truly shall be Christmas!”

I said: “O dear Lord Christ,
my journey is nearly at an end;
I need only visit this city
where there are only good children.”

“Have you your little bag with you, then?”
I said: “The little bag is here;
its apples, nuts and almonds
the pious children will gladly eat.”

“Have you the birch-rod also with you?”
I said: “The birch-rod, it is here;
and so, as for the bad children,
they will receive their fair share of strokes!”

The Christ Child says: “That’s as it should be;
go with God my faithful servant!”

From afar, from the forest I come here;
I must tell you, it truly is Christmastide!
Now tell me, what will I find herein—
a good child, or a wicked child?

Translation by David Millard