Die Forelle (German: “The Trout”) this beautiful song was composed for voice and piano by Franz Schubert around 1817. The words were written by Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart. It is probably the most well-known of the approximately 600 songs composed by Schubert.

The song provides us with the perspective of a passer-by who stops and watches the “happy little fish” swimming in the river. But soon a fisherman arrives, sets up his rod and tackle and goes about catching the trout, much to the dismay of our passer-by.

It is always interesting to witness Schubert’s mastery of the genre by allowing his music to portray the emotions of the passer-by. At first, we sense their pleasure in the creature’s freedom and ultimately their dismay and anger as they empathize with the dying fish.

I do hope you enjoy my rendition of this fabulous song.

Original text in German :

In einem Bächlein helle,
Da schoss in froher Eil’
Die launische Forelle
Vorueber wie ein Pfeil.
Ich stand an dem Gestade
Und sah in süsser Ruh’
Des muntern Fishleins Bade
Im klaren Bächlein zu.

Ein Fischer mit der Rute
Wohl an dem Ufer stand,
Und sah’s mit kaltem Blute
Wie sich das Fischlein wand.
So lang dem Wasser helle
So dacht’ ich, nicht gebricht,
So fängt er die Forelle
Mit seiner Angel nicht.

Doch endlich ward dem Diebe
Die Zeit zu lang.
Er macht das Bächlein tückisch trübe,
Und eh’ ich es gedacht
So zuckte seine Rute
Das Fischlein zappelt dran,
Und ich mit regem Blute
Sah die Betrog’ne an.

The translation into English :

In a clear little brook,
There darted, about in happy haste,
The moody trout
Dashing everywhere like an arrow.
I stood on the bank
And watched, in sweet peace,
The fish’s bath
In the clear little brook.

A fisherman with his gear
Came to stand on the bank
And watched with cold blood
As the little fish weaved here and there.
But as long as the water remains clear,
I thought, no worry,
He’ll never catch the trout
With his hook.

But finally, for the thief,
Time seemed to pass too slowly.
He made the little brook murky,
And before I thought it could be,
So his line twitched.
There thrashed the fish,
And I, with raging blood,
Gazed on the betrayed one.

This translation was by Betsy Schwarm

38 thoughts on “Die Forelle

    1. Hi Martin, it is very expensive to record and you need professional recordings in a studio now to apply for competitions and auditions, I’m glad you enjoyed reading this post.
      Best wishes

      1. Yes don’t worry, I’ve been busy and preparing new material I’ve got a few months performing work coming up from August, I will be able to record again in September I’m waiting to hear from the recording studio if they have a slot for me.

  1. Wonderful expressions. That was a really fun piece. I have headphones on and Laurie was watching over my should with no sound and said you were mesmerizing. You are entertaining whether or not the viewer can hear.

    1. Thank you Timothy, glad you enjoyed it, it is a new song I’ve learnt recently I’m still working on it but I enjoy singing it as like you say it is fun. I love performing as you know.
      Best wishes

  2. Hello Charlotte ! so nice to see and ear You. Very nice work, thanks yo take time to post with all the hard work you have with you projects !!!! WIsh you the best, xx

    1. Merci Pascal, I have completed my Arts Council England project now and have enjoyed taking it to the next stage which is attempting to raise the funds to put on performances with the team. I have schools interested but I’ve got quite a few plates spinning if you know that expression.
      Best wishes to you

      1. Wow, I’m also trying to set up a project for colleges and high schools in France to provide information on the creation and use of images.
        I didn’t know the expression but I understand its meaning. Best thoughts for you.

    1. Thank you Cindy, George accompanied me on the video. It’s a new song I’ve learnt recently so I’m still working on it but I like it as its fun.
      Best wishes

    1. Thank you John, this was our first recording in a new studio for some time it takes a bit of getting used to, it was a different set up than I’m used to and a new song I’m working on so I’m glad you enjoyed it.
      Best wishes

  3. What a fantastic photo by the water. Do you have to understand the words and context in order to sing it properly with your expressions and emphasis etc?

    1. Thank you my brother took the photo. Yes I have to do the translations first on any song or aria. I’ve been working on my German studies throughout covid so it is good practice. It’s a new song I’ve learnt recently so it’s useful to have a recording to work on further.
      Best wishes

    1. Thank you John, I’ve been wanting to learn this song for a while and finally made time so I’m glad you enjoyed it.
      Best wishes

    1. Thank you Don, still got work to do on it but its fun to sing.
      Best wishes

    1. Thank you 😊 I’m glad you enjoyed the recording.
      Best wishes as always,

  4. I may think of Erlkönig first, but The Trout is up there – he even did a piano quintet based on the song! I enjoyed your performance.

  5. Lovely performance. Very professional studio for very professional Ms. Hoather. All that sound absorption to baffle all those waves in your wake. Anyhow, you do make it still more competitive by betraying your weakness as a ticklish troubadour-“tückisch trübe.” Bigger and bigger catch, see you later.

    1. Thank you xxalkos 🙂 I could do with some of those sound absorption panels in my music room. 😊
      Best wishes

  6. Poor fish! Deceived by that lout of a fisherman! A veritable mini-opera with a tragic ending. I enjoyed it very much. And now, what’s for lunch?

    1. Haha, I was eating sea bass yesterday at a wedding and thought of my little trout song. I hope that you are well?
      Best wishes

  7. What a delightful song!
    Your rendition is fabulous… love it!!!

    So, the green Art Gown is finished! I’m just cleaning up, moving things around in order to set the stage for taking photos.
    The post will be up in about 2 weeks.Then I’ll take a little break from sewing. Then I will start your gown.
    It’s very exciting!!!!!!!
    Perhaps we can use the drawings I did of/for you in a different post… something more light hearted and fun?
    After the green gown goes live, I will think of some other ideas, and write you.
    Feel free to let me know if you have some ideas?
    Resa ❦❦

    1. What an exciting and a positive message from you Resa. Thank you. I should try to record a new song for it for fun, if I get the chance to get in a recording studio I will.
      My very best wishes always,
      Charlotte, ♥️

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