Jagermeisterlieder: A Songset for Manly Men for bass voice and piano
This set started life as an interesting concept – songs about men (with a 21st Century wink and a nod) married to a ridiculously silly title. The term Jägermeisterlieder is both sly and irreverent while also containing a certain accuracy, as ‘jagermeister’ is loosely translated as ‘master of the hunt’.
The first song Jägerlied is a setting of an Eduard Mörike poem describing a hunter in his natural habitat, traversing the countryside while also pining for lost love. By contrast, 20th Century German poet Rainer Brambach presents us with an updated and less traditional view of masculinity in his poems ‘Single Men’ and ‘Morning’. His protagonists are less archetypal masculine hunters and instead almost pathetic figures, lost and anonymous in a contemporary urban setting. They are the antidote to the very idea of the masculine hunter. Subversive musical references abound, whether it is the low and menacing accompaniment where we would expect to hear the high chirping sounds of birds, or the heaviness of a Cesar Franck reference where we would expect to hear the light and frothy operetta of Offenbach.