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Gilgamesh and the Ass for Voice and Piano

Jason Huffman (2008)


From The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet IX, Column iv lines 46-50 and column v lines 1-47: Gilgamesh took the road of Shamash, the sun. When he had gone one double-hour, dense is the darkness, there is no light; It was impossible to see ahead of and behind him. When he had gone two double-hours, dense is the darkness, there is no light; It was impossible to see ahead of and behind him. When he had gone three double-hours, dense is the darkness, there is no light; It was impossible to see ahead of and behind him.

From Stephen Crane’s The Black Riders and Other Lines, LV. A man toiled on a burning road: A man toiled on a burning road, Never resting. Once he saw a fat, stupid ass Grinning at him from a green place. The man cried out in rage, "Ah! Do not deride me, fool! I know you -All day stuffing your belly, Burying your heart In grass and tender sprouts: It will not suffice you." But the ass only grinned at him from the green place.

When he had gone four double-hours, dense is the darkness, there is no light; It was impossible to see ahead of and behind him. When he had gone five double-hours, dense is the darkness, there is no light; It was impossible to see ahead of and behind him. When he had gone six double-hours, dense is the darkness, there is no light; It was impossible to see ahead of and behind him. When he had gone seven double-hours, dense is the darkness, there is no light; It was impossible to see ahead of and behind him. When he had gone eight double-hours, a fever flares up in him; dense is the darkness, there is no light; It was impossible to see ahead of and behind him. When he had gone nine double-hours, the north wind bit into his face; dense is the darkness, there is no light; It was impossible to see ahead of and behind him. When he had gone ten double-hours, He could feel the end draw nigh. At the nearing of eleven double-hours, light breaks out. At the nearing of twelve double-hours, the light is steady. Before him the garden of the gods appeared.


Notes: Piano -

The symbol 達 over held chords in the piano signifies to randomly and softly restrike the various notes within the entire chord to keep the sound "alive." A generous use of the sustain pedal in the fugal section marked quarter equals 60 is preferred, no markings have been placed in this section so as to allow the pianist to insert them where most convenient for facility.

Voice -

A note under a fermata with multiple words below signifies to intone the words in a natural speaking rhythm; the rest in parenthesis before these held notes can be taken or not at the discretion of the singer for pitch. Slurs indicate melismas, dotted slurs indicate phrasing.


Gilgamesh and the Ass Jason Huffman

for Voice and Piano q = 84

& 43

High Voice

45

√ > > b # œœ œœ .... œœ œœ # œ- . b # œœ œœ .... œœ œœ # œ- . n œ. n œ. 3 &4 f ? 43 ∑ ∑

Piano

45

4

& 43

45

> b # œœ œœ ˙˙

45

°

8

& ˙. ? ˙.

took the road

of

Sha

Œ

œ ‰ Œ 45

œ œ

# œ œ 45 # w œ œ #w * °

f

-

-

?

43 Ó

3 4 nœ n œ ˙˙

43

F

43

q = 68 Rubato

mash,

œ œ #œ. J n œ. ∑

(√) # œœ >œœ .... œœ œœ # œ- . b # œœ >œœ .... œœ œœ # œ- . b # œœ >œœ ˙˙ œœ # œ- . b 4 n œ. n œ. 5 n œ. 3 J &4 4 p 5 ? 43 ∑ ∑ ∑ 4 ° f 8 œ 5 #œ.œ œ 3 . œ 5 3 j # œ œ œ # œ œ . ‰ œ # œ n œ œ . & 4 J 4 J #œ nœ nœ 4 œ Gil-ga-mesh

43

43

˙˙ 43

œ ‰

ƒ 3 Œ Œ # œœ 4 bœ

°

Œ Ó Œ 48

the sun.

œœœ 45 b ww w > ƒ 5 4 œœœ b ww œ w >

Π48 Π48


4

q = 60 Plodding, calmly moving forward

pU 8 & 4 ( ‰ )W

3 54 œ œ œ œ œ œ bœ œ b˙

13

dense is the dark-ness there

When he had gone one double-hour,

? 48

U

13

p

&

? 48 Uã W

16

and be-hind

16

him

& ˙ nœ

19

U

45 w

U

45

W ã ã nW W

œ

It was im-pos-si-ble to see a - head

of

w

œ

& ?

3

œ #w

˙

˙ p

œ

3

œ œ

and be-hind

P b˙

dense is the dark-ness there

When he had gone two double-hours,

n œ 48 P 48

of

3 54 œ œ œ œ œ œ bœ œ b˙

& œ œ œ œ œ œ œ nœ œ nœ œ œ

19

bœ w

P 84 ( ‰ ) U nW

3

It was im-pos-si-ble to see a - head

bœ œ

˙

45 w

& œ œ œ b˙

?

45 ˙

is no light;

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ nœ œnœ œ œ 3

b˙ bœ

œ #˙

˙ w

him

œ œ

F 8 (‰) b U W 4

8 nU W 4 bW W ã F 8 U b˙ bœ 4 W bW ˙ n˙ ã ˙

is no light;

5 4

When he had gone three double-hours,

5 4 5 4


& 45 œ œ œ œ œ œ b œ œ b ˙

22

dense is the dark-ness there

3

is no light;

b n ˙˙

& 45 ˙˙w

22

? 45 w w

It was im - pos-si- ble to see

œ œœ

œ œw

œœ

# # ww

3

& œ œ œ b˙

and be-hind

n˙ & n ˙œ

24

?

œ

him

man

24 ˙˙

44 œœ bb œœ

b b ˙˙ b b ˙˙

42 œ b œ œ bœ

44 œ œ bœ bœ

f

nœ bœ œ œ. œ. > road, Ne - ver res-ting œ b œ œ b œ n 27 b œœ n œ ≈ ‰ j & œ ˙ p ? ‰ ‰ œ œ bœ. J J bœ nœ

p ‰ 38 b œ œ J

Once he

3 8 œ.

3 bœ. 8

œ

œ n œœ

œ n œ >œ b œ .

œ

toiled

b˙ bœ b˙ n˙ b˙

27

& bœ

of

n ˙˙ F

24 Œ ‰ b œf 44 b œ J A

a - head

b˙ b˙

e = 120 Lightly, with subtle rubato 24

5

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ nœ œ nœ œ œ

3

on a burning -

bœ b œ > œ ≈ œ œ nœ œ b œ œ bœ > >œ n œ œ n œ b œ b œ nœ œ bœ bœ bœ bœ œ œ

bœ. saw

∑ œ bœ J

fj œ bœ

j œ bœ

a fat,

stu - pid

b œ b œJ b œ J

bœ.

ass

œ

bœ.

œ.


6

P & b œj œ

34

bœ œ J

Grin-ning

34

&

?

p

40

&

out

# >œ Œ ‰ # œJ 38

Œ

# ww n ?

nœ & n œj ‰ J œ œ œ œ œ œ

me,

& ?

œ

rage

> œ #œ œ #œ J

fool!

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ∑

b # œœ

‰ ‰

4 4 4 4

ƒ

# # ww

man

Œ Ó

b n œœ Œ Ó

j #œ #œ

"Ah!

œ #œ œ #œ œ œ œ #œ œ #œ œ œ ∑

, 4 ˙. 4 œ œ œ œ œ œ

The

nw nw

œ bœ J

œ.

œ n˙.

œ œ ˙

place.

œ. œ.

# œœ n 38

47

47

in

˙

> 38 # œ # œ J

& œ . # Jœ œ œ cried

44

40

n # œœ

44 n ˙ j bœ œ from a green bœ œ ww bœ œ J 4 4

j bœ œ at him œ b b œœ œ bœ J

I

bœ. >

j œ œ

Do not

‰ ‰

j #œ #œ

de - ride

œ œœ œ œœ œ œœ œ œœ ∑

bœ œ

know you

˙ Ó

œ

œ. j œ bœ. > ƒ

˙ ˙p


52

& bœ œ

All day

j bœ bœ nœ œ œ ly bur - y bœ œ nœ œ ‰ ‰ j ‰ ‰ b œj 38 ‰ œ œ ƒ ƒ ƒ 38 œ ‰ ‰ ‰ b œj ‰ b˙ bœ b ˙ƒ œ bœ p

j ‰ b œ œ 38 j œ œ œ œ stuf -fing your bel œ

52

& ˙ ? Ó

& 44

58

bœ œ

w

heart

& 44 œ ˙ .

In grass

58

? 44 b ˙w

f œ 3 & 8 # œJ

63

suf -fice

˙

b ˙˙

b ˙˙˙

œ J #œ œœ n n œœ J

œ. ? 38 œ .

œœ b # œœ J

3 &8

and

b b œœ

b ˙˙˙

sprouts:

j j bœ œ bœ œ bœ

j j bœ œ œ bœ p ∑ ∑

the

ass

on - ly

j bœ œ

j bœ œ

44

your

‰ ‰ ‰ j 44 bœ bœ f 44 ∑ ∑

bœ. nœ J It

F

But

ing

Œ bœ ˙ ˙ p bœ bœ ˙ b˙ Œ Œ °

b ˙˙

œ

-

œ b˙.

bœ b˙

ten - der

you

œœ ..

63

j‰ œ œ œ

œ bœ J

f

œ # œ 38

will

œ b˙

not

b # œœ

f œœ 38 °

œ b˙

j œ

grinned

38

j œ bœ

3 4

at

j 43 œ bœ

j bœ œ ∑

3 4

7


8

q = 60 As before

p 3 & 4 bœ bœ œ ˙.

n˙.

˙. ˙.

b # œœ

rit.

71

him from the

& 43 b œ .

71

‰Œ

? 43 Œ ‰ ‰ Œ *

green

p

˙ .. ˙

Œ Œ # # ˙˙ ..

dense is the dark -ness there

is

w 5 &4 w

79

˙˙

& œ œ œ b˙

n b ˙˙

b b ˙˙

and be-hind

& nœ

79

? ˙ n ˙˙

b˙. b˙

him

It was im - pos-si- ble to see

œ bœ

n ww

œ nbœ

˙. œ

b œœ

When he had gone five double-hours,

U 8 bW 4 W p ã U 8 W 4 W W ã

84 W W pã 84 U b WW W ã

45 45

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ nœ œ nœ œ œ

p 8 (‰) b U W 4

3

#˙ n ˙ ..

U

3

no light;

77

w˙ ˙

n # œœ Œ Œ

b n œœ Œ Œ

3 5 & 4 œ œ œ œ œ œ bœ œ b˙

45

When he had gone four double-hours,

place.

77

? 45

n˙.

˙.

p 84 ( ‰ ) U W

a - head

of

b œœ b ˙˙ ˙

n # ˙˙

3 5 4 œ œ œ œ œ œ bœ œ b˙

dense is the dark-ness there

5 ˙˙ 4 5 4 b ww w

is no light;

b b ˙˙

n b œœ b b œœ


82

& œ œ œ œ œ œ œ nœ œ nœ œ œ

œ

3

It was im-pos-si-ble to see a - head

& œœ

˙ b˙

b ˙˙

82

of

? ˙. b b ww

˙

b œœ

œ œ b˙ b˙

and be-hind

˙˙

b ˙œ bœ

b˙ n˙. b ˙ n n ˙˙

3 5 & 4 œ œ œ œ œ œ bœ œ b˙

& 45 ˙˙

85

is

? 45 w ww

87

3

& œ œ œ b˙

and be-hind

87

& b ˙˙ ?

# n œœ˙

him

84 U W W Pã U 84 W W W ã

45 45

œ œ œ œ œ œ œ nœ œ nœ œ œ It was im - pos-si - ble to see

œ

œ

bœ œœ

bw w˙ .

F 8 (‰) b U W 4 When he had gone seven double-hours,

U 8 œ b˙ bœ 4 W W Fã 8 U 4 bW ˙ b ˙ . n b ˙˙ W ã

œ œ

3

no light;

b ˙˙

45

When he had gone six double-hours,

him

b b ˙˙

85

dense is the dark -ness there

PU 84 ( ‰ ) n W

3

a - head

n ˙˙

of

˙˙ b˙

n b œœ

3 5 4 œ œ œ œ œ œ bœ œ b˙

dense is the dark-ness there

5 4 ˙w 5 4 w nw

is no light;

˙

œ nœ œ œ

9


10

90

& œ œ œ œ œ œ œ nœ œ nœ œ œ It was im-pos-si-ble to see a - head

& b œw

90

?

œ

3

of

bw ˙.

f 3 3 5 b œ œ œ œ œ œ ‰ bœ &4 J

93

a

fe - ver flares up

˙˙ 5 b &4

93

? 45

95

3

œ #œ nœ

in

dense is the dark - ness there

w

3

& œ œ œ œ œ œ œ nœ œ nœ œ œ

œ

& wœ

b œ˙

3

It was im-pos-si-ble to see a - head

95

?

w

˙

˙

of

œ #œ

œ œ

and be-hind

œ

84 U W ã

45

œ œ œ œ œ œ bœ œ b˙

œ

45

3

nœ nœ

U

W 48 W ã

b˙ n˙. ˙

bœ b œ b b œœ b œ b b œœ bœ ≈ ƒ F ≈

45

When he had gone eight double-hours,

him

f

œ˙

œ ‰ J

him

b ˙ b b œœ

b ˙w

œ

˙

œ œ b˙

and be-hind

f 84 ( ‰ ) b U W

3

is

no light;

˙

œœ bœ

him

ƒU 8 (‰) n W 4

5 4

When he had gone nine double-hours,

U 8 b ˙ b ˙ n ˙ # œ 4 WW ã ƒ 8 nU 4 W b˙ b˙ ã

5 4 5 4


œ & 45 ‰ n œJ

98

> œ # >œ # œ œ œ œJ ‰

& 45 # œœ

98

n œœ

œ # # œœ

? 45 # ˙ .

100

œ œ œ œ œ œ bœ œ b˙

3

3

the north wind

bit

in - to his face

dense is the dark - ness there

> # # œœ ‰ # n œœ J Ï f >œ # œœ ‰ n œ J

& œ œ œ œ œ œ œ nœ œ nœ œ œ 3

It was im-pos-si-ble to see a - head

of

b œœ

˙

˙

œ œ b˙

and be-hind

˙

? œ

˙

˙

˙

œ œ œ

F 8 ( ‰)n U W 4

accel.

5 bœ & 4 ‰ J bœ bœ nœ nœ

103

He could feel the

draw nigh.

5 w &4

103

? 45 ˙

end

f W 84 ( ‰ ) b U

b ˙œ

f bœ

84 U W ã U W 48 ã 4 ˙ 4

When he had gone eleven double-hours,

U

8 bW 4 ã FU nW 8 4 ã

45

When he had gone ten double-hours,

him

n˙ b˙ n˙ bœ

˙

œ

no light;

˙

3

œ

is

˙w

& # œw

100

11

3

light

4 ˙ 4 4 4

W

45 45

nœ œ

Œ

8 4

breaks out.

8 4 8 4


12

p œ b œ 44 ‰ œ bœ œ nœ Œ Ó

PU bW 8 & 4 (‰)

106

When he had gone twelve double-hours,

U

bW 8 &4 ã PU bW ? 48 ã

106

113

& #˙ n˙

˙ Ó

him

?

121

&

121

&

w

w

w w

p ? b # ww °

44

44

b # ww ww

b # ww

ww

b # ww

ww

b # ww

p ww °

the

ww

ww ° ∑

ww

p Ó Œ nœ #˙ ˙

w w b # ww

gar - den

#˙ ˙ of

the

#˙ ˙ gods

Be - fore

#w > ƒ> #w *

˙ #œ Œ ap- peared

# # ww > w> n #w

˙ n n >˙˙ ww ˙ n b ˙>˙ ww

#w > ƒ> #w

b # ww

p Ó Œ nœ #˙ ˙

b # ww

p

w

the light is steady -

b # ww

113

& w

q = 84

a tempo

*

∑ b # ww ww

#w > ƒ> #w *

∑ >˙ # ˙ ˙ b >˙ °

p n˙ #˙

∑ n b www w w # n www

Gilgamesh and the Ass for Voice and Piano  

voice / pno

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