This enchanting song does not rate a mention with either Capell or Einstein. Simple as it is, it has an inevitability of shape that no-one but Schubert could achieve. The vocal line is built around a falling, then rising, B flat arpeggio, followed by a scale modulating into F. The idea no doubt derives from the word 'Quelle', for this is water music of a gently flowing kind. Such note-spinning in this composer's hands defies analysis, so perfectly woven is the result. Schubert later set the poem again (D422), very differently, for tenors, basses and piano. He there attempts to find a different illustrative mood for the intimations of heaven of the last verse, but, not for the first time, the earlier strophic version seems more satisfactory.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1989