Iain Farrington

Pianist, organist, composer, arranger

Franz Schubert: Three Songs (Romanze, Nacht und Träume, Die Forelle)

Such is the outstanding melodic quality of Schubert's songs that they have often been arranged and adapted since the time of their composition, notably by the composer himself in such works as the 'Trout' Quintet and the 'Death and the Maiden' Quartet. These three songs translate beautifully from their voice-piano originals into chamber music. Schubert's incidental music for the play Rosamunde yielded a glorious mixture of orchestral music, choruses and songs, of which the Romanze is one fine example. While the rhythms rock gently to evoke a pastoral scene, the harmony unsettlingly shifts from major to minor, giving the song a melancholic uncertainty. Nacht und Träume is a timeless depiction of night's stillness and wondrous dreams, the melody floating over a suspended accompaniment, moving with a calm inevitability. Perhaps Schubert's most well-known song is Die Forelle, the witty tale of a trout unsuccessfully trying to evade a fisherman. Its delightful simplicity has made it a particular favourite, adapted for many instruments including by Schubert himself.

Instrumentation: bassoon, violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello, double bass

Listen to a performance of Nacht und Träume here:

Franz Schubert: Nacht und Träume (3’52)

Watch a performance of Romanze here:

Watch a performance of Die Forelle here: