Die Selbstkritik (The Self Criticism) - Mixed Choir
There is a lot to be said for self-criticism.
Suppose I blame myself
first of all I have the profit
that I am so pretty modest;
Secondly, people think
the man is pure honesty;
thirdly, I also snap this morsel
ahead of the other criti-kisses;
And fourth, I also hope so
on objection, which is acceptable to me.
so it comes out in the end
that I’m a very great guy!
– Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908)
The setting of the humorous poem Die Selbstkritik (The Self Criticism) by Wilhelm Busch was commissioned by the concert choir ConVoice for a world premiere as a competition entry for the choir competition of the North Rhine-Westphalia Choir Association.
Musically, the setting moves within the currently very popular style of a capella pop; the tenor is the leading voice in the stanzas, the accompanying structure is mainly carried by scat syllables and vocalises. However, the choral writing breaks with this compositional technique in places and alludes to classical choral styles through imitations and fugal interjections. As a competition entry, the choral writing should definitely pose a challenge for the performing choir, so the technical demands are to be rated in the medium to high range within the pop stylistics.
The tonal language tries to take up the ironic note of Wilhelm Busch's text by constantly alternating between minor and major sections. This irony is dramaturgically reinforced by commenting on the leading role of the tenor by the other voices.