The key is B major, and here we have the water music which prophesies Der Neugierige
in Die schöne Müllerin
. Schubert must have thought that streams responded well to being addressed in this key, for in both songs he achieves a rare mood of two-way communication between poet and nature. Another similarity is the use of a declamatory and disruptive middle section before the return of the lyrical tune. The pessimism of Mayrhofer's words do not incline Schubert to the minor key; instead he used the 'pathetic' major, beloved of bel canto composers. This gentle, rather Italianate song is not for singers who want to make a splash, but it will suit those who enter into the watery spirit of poem and music, prepared for hidden depths.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1989