Die Forelle in Db major
D550, Op. 32 • “In einem Bächlein helle, da schoss in froher Eil”
About this work
Schubert wrote no fewer than five versions of this song, and also based
his Trout Quintet, D667 on it. It's a charming mini-drama, reflecting
the naturalist theme of the Romantic period and Schubert's own sense of
In the text, the narrator describes looking at a trout in the water,
and his indignation when a fisherman catches it by unfair means.
The famous six-note phrase that forms the majority of the accompaniment
evokes the image of a fish literally rising to the bait. The vocal
melody is equally light, until the moment when the fisherman muddies
up the water to catch the fish, when both voice and piano change to
a darker tone, creating the sense of a little drama enacted.