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Der deutschsprachige ‚Berger Extravagant‘

Irmgard Scheitler


Pages 21 - 45



As a genre of highly formal pattern, pastoral poetry evoked satire. Charles Sorel’s ‘Le Berger extravagant’ and its dramatic transformation by Thomas Corneille soon found its way into German literature. Harsdörffer (1647) presented the mad shepherd, who mingled literature with life as an example of the folly of this world. Rist amalgamated him with the “boisterous soldier,” using him as a comic figure (1653). Gryphius’ translation of Corneille’s humorous play was performed at the Silesian court (1661). The interconnection between the pastoral genre with music and its affinity to courtly entertainment proved true in Röling and Sebastiani’s opera for a noble wedding in Königsberg – a rare and very early example of this genre. Emperor Leopold I himself composed the music in Vienna (1683) for an adaptation of the plot. It was not until 1717 that Gryphius’ text was staged again, this time for a courtly celebration in Blankenburg.

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