This brief two-page caprice of a song lay dormant until after Strauss’s death, being published only for the first time in the Boosey & Hawkes Complete Edition of 1964. It was actually composed in 1896, a year after the three other Bierbaum settings that constitute Strauss’s Op 29: Traum durch die Dämmerung
, Schlagende Herzen
(all recorded on CDA67588
). Its fragmentary nature and somewhat improvisatory character no doubt reflect its curious history. It was intended to appear in an illustrated almanac entitled The many-coloured Bird of 1897
, and a highly decorated version of the manuscript was prepared, surrounded by an extravagant Art Nouveau illustration by Julius Diez. In the end this was too late for inclusion in the almanac, but a facsimile appeared a year later in the Munich weekly magazine Jugend
Strauss presumably felt it was too slight a fragment for publication, but it is full of delightful Straussian gestures, from the opening flourish to the skipping final cadence. It also follows Strauss’s frequent practice of beginning in one key (F sharp) only to settle later in another (G major)—appropriately enough at the moment when the wind brings two lovers together. This key prevails for most of the second page, until the singer’s last line, when a neat return to F sharp tells us not to take any of this too seriously.
from notes by Roger Vignoles © 2012