On this site you can find the complete texts of all the German poems (and the translations into German from other languages) which Schubert set to music.
The main text is presented using modern German spelling conventions, but there were no such agreed rules when the poems were originally published. Anyone interested in the spelling of the text as Schubert knew it will find the ‘Original Spelling’ after the comments section, along with a link (where possible) to Schubert’s source.
In a number of cases the words of Schubert’s song are slightly different from the words of the poems as published in other places. This may be because (as is the case with Johann Mayrhofer, for example) Schubert was working from a manuscript provided directly by the poet, who then revised the text slightly before it was published. It may be because poets and editors changed the wording of texts in different editions of the poems. In some cases it is clear that Schubert made a change (or omitted some words or lines) deliberately. All of these differences between the texts as published and as set to music are indicated in the ‘notes on the text’ which appear with the Original Spelling version of the text towards the end of each page.
For many years the standard reference work on the sources that Schubert used as the basis of his compositions was the work edited by Maximilian and Lilly Schochow, Franz Schubert. Die Texte seiner einstimmig und mehrstimmig komponierten Lieder und ihre Dichter, published in 1974. However, more recent research, in particular facilitated by the availability of so many digitised sources online, has cast new light on the texts that Schubert was working from.
The texts on this site are therefore based on the work of Peter Rastl, who has prepared an updated version of Schochow’s book: Franz Schubert. Die Texte seiner Lieder und Gesänge und ihre Dichter zusammengestellt und kritisch herausgegeben von Peter Rastl und Peter Dellitsch. Peter Rastl has made his critical editions of the song texts freely available on LiederNet (https://www.lieder.net/lieder/) and has kindly allowed me to use pre-publication drafts of his book.
Peter Rastl has managed to trace many of the sources that Schubert must have been using when composing his songs and has identified the authors of a number of texts which were previously listed as being by anonymous or unknown writers. He has also corrected some mistaken attributions. This may explain some discrepancies between the details about the texts here and those available from other (older) sources.