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Songs

Wohin?

by Franz Schubert From Die schöne Müllerin (1823) D795 (Op. 25)

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Text & Translation

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Wohin?
German source: Wilhelm Müller

Ich hört’ ein Bächlein rauschen
Wohl aus dem Felsenquell,
Hinab zum Tale rauschen
So frisch und wunderhell.

Ich weiss nicht, wie mir wurde,
Nicht, wer den Rat mir gab,
Ich musste auch hinunter
Mit meinem Wanderstab.

Hinunter und immer weiter
Und immer dem Bache nach,
Und immer heller rauschte,
Und immer heller der Bach.

Ist das denn meine Strasse?
O Bächlein, sprich, wohin?
Du hast mit deinem Rauschen
Mir ganz berauscht den Sinn.

Was sag’ ich denn vom Rauschen?
Das kann kein Rauschen sein:
Es singen wohl die Nixen
Tief unten ihren Reihn.

Lass singen, Gesell, lass rauschen,
Und wandre fröhlich nach!
Es gehn ja Mühlenräder
In jedem klaren Bach.

Where to?
English translation © Richard Wigmore

I heard a little brook babbling
from its rocky source,
babbling down to the valley,
so bright, so wondrously clear.

I know not what came over me,
nor who prompted me,
but I too had to go down
with my wanderer’s staff.

Down and ever onwards,
always following the brook
as it babbled ever brighter
and ever clearer.

Is this, then, my path?
O brook, say where it leads.
With your babbling
you have quite befuddled my mind.

Why do I speak of babbling?
That is no babbling.
It is the water nymphs singing
as they dance their round far below.

Let them sing, my friend; let the brook babble
and follow it cheerfully.
For mill-wheels turn
in every clear brook.

Translations by Richard Wigmore first published by Gollancz and reprinted in the Hyperion Schubert Song Edition

Wohin?
German source: Wilhelm Müller

Where to?
English source: Richard Wigmore

Ich hört’ ein Bächlein rauschen
I heard a little brook babbling
Wohl aus dem Felsenquell,
from its rocky source,
Hinab zum Tale rauschen
babbling down to the valley,
So frisch und wunderhell.
so bright, so wondrously clear.

Ich weiss nicht, wie mir wurde,
I know not what came over me,
Nicht, wer den Rat mir gab,
nor who prompted me,
Ich musste auch hinunter
but I too had to go down
Mit meinem Wanderstab.
with my wanderer’s staff.

Hinunter und immer weiter
Down and ever onwards,
Und immer dem Bache nach,
always following the brook
Und immer heller rauschte,
as it babbled ever brighter
Und immer heller der Bach.
and ever clearer.

Ist das denn meine Strasse?
Is this, then, my path?
O Bächlein, sprich, wohin?
O brook, say where it leads.
Du hast mit deinem Rauschen
With your babbling
Mir ganz berauscht den Sinn.
you have quite befuddled my mind.

Was sag’ ich denn vom Rauschen?
Why do I speak of babbling?
Das kann kein Rauschen sein:
That is no babbling.
Es singen wohl die Nixen
It is the water nymphs singing
Tief unten ihren Reihn.
as they dance their round far below.

Lass singen, Gesell, lass rauschen,
Let them sing, my friend; let the brook babble
Und wandre fröhlich nach!
and follow it cheerfully.
Es gehn ja Mühlenräder
For mill-wheels turn
In jedem klaren Bach.
in every clear brook.

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

Wilhelm Müller

Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Müller was a German lyric poet. Wilhelm Müller was born on October 7, 1794 at Dessau, the son of a tailor. He was educated at the gymnasium of his native town and at the University of Berlin, where he devoted himself to…

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