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Songs

Auf dem Wasser zu singen

by Franz Schubert

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This song was recorded on the album 'Schubert Year by Year' on Stone Records, in preparation for Oxford Lieder's 2014 The Schubert Project, the first ever complete performance of Schubert's songs in a single festival. It features one song from each year of Schubert's creative life.

Click here to listen to the song with James Gilchrist and Sholto Kynoch, or click here to buy the CD from Stone Records.



Text & Translation

View IPA

Auf dem Wasser zu singen
German source: Stolberg-Stolberg, Graf zu

Mitten im Schimmer der spiegelnden Wellen
Gleitet, wie Schwäne, der wankende Kahn;
Ach, auf der Freude sanft schimmernden Wellen
Gleitet die Seele dahin wie der Kahn;
Denn von dem Himmel herab auf die Wellen
Tanzet das Abendrot rund um den Kahn.

Über den Wipfeln des westlichen Haines
Winket uns freundlich der rötliche Schein;
Unter den Zweigen des östlichen Haines
Säuselt der Kalmus im rötlichen Schein;
Freude des Himmels und Ruhe des Haines
Atmet die Seel’ im errötenden Schein.

Ach, es entschwindet mit tauigem Flügel
Mir auf den wiegenden Wellen die Zeit.
Morgen entschwinde mit schimmerndem Flügel
Wieder wie gestern und heute die Zeit,
Bis ich auf höherem strahlendem Flügel
Selber entschwinde der wechselnden Zeit.

To be sung on the water
English translation © Richard Wigmore

Amid the shimmer of the mirroring waves
the rocking boat glides, swan-like,
on gently shimmering waves of joy.
The soul, too, glides like a boat.
For from the sky the setting sun
dances upon the waves around the boat.

Above the tree-tops of the western grove
the red glow beckons kindly to us;
beneath the branches of the eastern grove
the reeds whisper in the red glow.
The soul breathes the joy of heaven,
the peace of the grove, in the reddening glow.

Alas, with dewy wings
time vanishes from me on the rocking waves.
Tomorrow let time again vanish with shimmering
wings, as it did yesterday and today,
until, on higher, more radiant wings,
I myself vanish from the flux of time.

_First published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition_

Auf dem Wasser zu singen
German source: Stolberg-Stolberg, Graf zu

To be sung on the water
English source: Richard Wigmore

Mitten im Schimmer der spiegelnden Wellen
Amid the shimmer of the mirroring waves
Gleitet, wie Schwäne, der wankende Kahn;
the rocking boat glides, swan-like,
Ach, auf der Freude sanft schimmernden Wellen
on gently shimmering waves of joy.
Gleitet die Seele dahin wie der Kahn;
The soul, too, glides like a boat.
Denn von dem Himmel herab auf die Wellen
For from the sky the setting sun
Tanzet das Abendrot rund um den Kahn.
dances upon the waves around the boat.

Über den Wipfeln des westlichen Haines
Above the tree-tops of the western grove
Winket uns freundlich der rötliche Schein;
the red glow beckons kindly to us;
Unter den Zweigen des östlichen Haines
beneath the branches of the eastern grove
Säuselt der Kalmus im rötlichen Schein;
the reeds whisper in the red glow.
Freude des Himmels und Ruhe des Haines
The soul breathes the joy of heaven,
Atmet die Seel’ im errötenden Schein.
the peace of the grove, in the reddening glow.

Ach, es entschwindet mit tauigem Flügel
Alas, with dewy wings
Mir auf den wiegenden Wellen die Zeit.
time vanishes from me on the rocking waves.
Morgen entschwinde mit schimmerndem Flügel
Tomorrow let time again vanish with shimmering
Wieder wie gestern und heute die Zeit,
wings, as it did yesterday and today,
Bis ich auf höherem strahlendem Flügel
until, on higher, more radiant wings,
Selber entschwinde der wechselnden Zeit.
I myself vanish from the flux of time.

Composer

Franz Schubert

Franz Peter Schubert was an late Classical and early Romantic composer. He produced a vast oeuvre during his short life, composing more the 600 vocal works (largely Lieder), and well as several symphonies, operas, and a large body of piano music. He…

Poet

Stolberg-Stolberg, Graf zu

Friedrich Leopold Graf zu Stolberg-Stolberg, was a German poet, lawyer and translator born at Bramstedt in Holstein (then a part of Denmark). Friedrich Leopold belonged to a cadet branch of the Stolberg family. He was born the son of a Danish…

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