Die Forelle

Franz Schubert

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.