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Auf dem Wasser zu singen

Text: Leopold Graf zu Stollberg


Translation by Tomoko Yamamoto
Mitten im Schimmer der
spiegelnden Wellen
Gleitet, wie Schwne, der
wankende Kahn;
Ach, auf der Freude
sanftschimmernden Wellen
Gleitet die Seele dahin wie der
Kahn,
Ach, auf der Freude
sanftschimmernden Wellen
Gleitet die Seele dahin wie der
Kahn;
Denn von dem Himmel herab auf
die Wellen
Tanzet das Abendrot rund um den
Kahn,
Tanzet das Abendrot rund um den
Kahn.

In the midst of the shimmer of


reflecting waves
Like swans, glides the bouncing
rowboat
Ah, over the joyous, gentlyshimmering waves
Glides the soul like the rowboat.
Ah, over the joyous, gentlyshimmering waves
Glides the soul like the rowboat.
From the heaven on down the
waves
Dances the evening glow around
the boat
Dances the evening glow around
the boat

Above the top of the western grove


Friendly greets us the red glow;
ber den Wipfeln des westlichen Below the branches of the eastern
Haines
grove
Winket uns freundlich der rtliche The reeds rustle in the red glow.
Schein;
Below the branches of the eastern
Unter den Zweigen des stlichen grove
Haines
The reeds rustle in the red glow.
Suselt der Kalmus im rtlichen Heavenly joy and the peace of the
Schein,
groves
Unter den Zweigen des stlichen The soul breathes in the evening
Haines
glow,
Suselt der Kalmus im rtlichen The soul breathes in the evening
Schein;
glow.
Freude des Himmels und Ruhe des
Haines
Ah, disappears from me with the
Atmet die Seel im errtenden
dewey wings
Schein,
On rocking waves, flies the time
Atmet die Seel im errtenden
Disappears tomorrow on
Schein.
shimmering wings
Just like yesterday and today, flies
Ach, es entschwindet mit tauigem the time.
Flgel
Disappears tomorrow on
Mir auf den wiegenden Wellen die shimmering wings
Zeit.
Just like yesterday and today, flies
Morgen entschwinde mit
the time.
schimmerndem Flgel
Until I myself on more highly
Wieder wie gestern und heute die radiant wings
Zeit,
Flee from the changing time.

Morgen entschwinde mit


schimmerndem Flgel
Wieder wie gestern und heute die
Zeit,
Bis ich auf hherem strahlenden
Flee from the changing time.
Flgel
Selber entschwinde der
wechselnden Zeit,
Selber entschwinde der
wechselnden Zeit.

Note: The text shown above is the exactly the way Franz Schubert used the
text when he set it to music including the repeats, which reflect the repeats in
the music. The original text may not have repeating phrases.
The poet, Leopold Graf zu Stollberg, was with Goethe on his trip to Zurich
and the lake. We don`t know where he was when he wrote this poem. Swans
are everywhere on rivers and lakes in Austria and Switzerland. The last and
third stanza is somewhat puzzling as to the intention of the poet. He says "I
myself will put on the shining wings and fly away like the time."
Maureen Schafer has written a "macro analysis of the music of "Auf dem
Wasser zu singen." She analyzed its key progression structure and suggests
that Schubert's use of harmonic progressions and rhythmic patterns musically
illustrates the theme of this poem. The whole song including the piano prelude
and postlude begins in a-flat minor and ends in A-flat major, but each stanza
(song part) begins in a-flat minor and ends in A-flat major, which repeats
twice.
Back to the Program Outline, "Water Songs and Water Landscapes:
Multimedia Show".
Keywords: Auf dem Wasser zu singen, Lied, Franz Schubert, Leopold Graf zu
Stollberg, swans, Himmel, Freude, Kalmus, Schimmer, Kahn, Welle, Spiegel,
Wasser, Gmunden, Altmnster, Austria, boat, gliding, harmonic progressions,
key structure, major, minor, A-flat, translation, interpretation, Tomoko
Yamamoto