Song cycle translations by Celia Sgroi

Franz Schubert

Author's Note

My involvement in the translation of Schubert's song cycles began in 1996 with Emily Ezust's Lieder and Song Translations web page. At that time, Emily was soliciting someone to translate "Winterreise," and I volunteered. The task took much longer than I expected, and by the time my translation was finished, someone else had already translated the cycle for the web page. I first posted my "Winterreise" translations on the Opera-L list serve, after which Mike Richter posted them on his website in a PDF file. Then, Margo Briessinck posted the translations on his "Winterreise" page. As a result of their exposure on the internet, these translations found their way into lieder recital programs and recording liner notes, all with my blessing and extreme pleasure. When I received praise for the "Winterreise" translations, I was encouraged to do more. These files are the most immediate result.

My hope is that the translations will help people who want to understand the texts of Schubert's great song cycles better. When I made the translations, my goal was to render the texts into reasonably idiomatic, contemporary English. They are obviously not singing translations, For that, see Jeffrey Benton's website. I have tried, wherever possible, to keep the words in the corresponding lines of the original text and to be as literal as I could be without producing nonsense or pseudo-archaic drivel. However, if sense required transposing words, that is what I did. I have resisted the impulse to be deliberately "poetic," hoping that a faithful rendering of the poet's words would be poetic enough.

As was the case with my "Winterreise" translations on the internet, these song cycle translations are available without charge to anyone who wishes to use them in a concert program or recording liner notes. All I ask is that they not be altered and that I be given credit for the translations. I hope that readers find them helpful and worthwhile. I also hope that listeners find as much pleasure and reward in the Schubert song cycles as I have.

Celia Sgroi (2005)


The German song texts are reprinted from


I. Winterreise (Op. 89, D 911)

Download PDF file (246 kB)

  1. Gute Nacht
  2. Die Wetterfahne
  3. Gefrorne Tränen
  4. Erstarrung
  5. Der Lindenbaum
  6. Wasserflut
  7. Auf dem Flusse
  8. Rückblick
  9. Irrlicht
  10. Rast
  11. Frühlingstraum
  12. Einsamkeit
  13. Die Post
  14. Der greise Kopf
  15. Die Krähe
  16. Letzte Hoffnung
  17. Im Dorfe
  18. Der stürmische Morgen
  19. Täuschung
  20. Der Wegweiser
  21. Das Wirtshaus
  22. Mut!
  23. Die Nebensonnen
  24. Der Leiermann

II. Die schöne Müllerin (Op. 25, D 795)

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  1. Das Wandern
  2. Wohin?
  3. Halt!
  4. Danksagung an den Bach
  5. Am Feierabend
  6. Der Neugierige
  7. Ungeduld
  8. Morgengruß
  9. Des Müllers Blumen
  10. Tränenregen
  11. Mein!
  12. Pause
  13. Mit dem grünen Lautenbande
  14. Der Jäger
  15. Eifersucht und Stolz
  16. Die liebe Farbe
  17. Die böse Farbe
  18. Trockne Blumen
  19. Der Müller und der Bach
  20. Des Baches Wiegenlied

III. Schwanengesang (D 957)

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  1. Liebesbotschaft
  2. Kriegers Ahnung
  3. Frühlingssehnsucht
  4. Ständchen
  5. Aufenthalt
  6. In der Ferne
  7. Abschied
  8. Der Atlas
  9. Ihr Bild
  10. Das Fischermädchen
  11. Die Stadt
  12. Am Meer
  13. Der Doppelgänger
  14. Die Taubenpost (D 965a)