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The beauties of a song like this, and the appeal of its thinly-veiled 'improving' text, were not lost on the publishers of the time. It seems that the composer first wrote the piece in F major, but then decided that it sounded more fresh and fragile in the key of G major. It was first published in that key in the Wiener Zeitschrift. John Reed believes that Schubert was persuaded to publish it in that higher key, but it is perhaps more likely that it was the composer's own decision at that time. In 1827 it was re-published by Diabelli who had strong ideas about commercial practicalities. The fact is that the song is difficult in G major, particularly the tessitura of the middle section, and most soprano voices would have found, and continue to find, the F major version easier. It was in 1827, it seems to me, that the composer was persuaded (probably by Diabelli) to revert to his original idea of F major, so as not to frighten off prospective buyers - young ladies scanning the lie of the vocal line in the so-called 'art establishments'. There are accordingly two versions of the song. In the Deutsch catalogue the G major version (recorded here) is the first; the F major version (recorded by Felicity Lott on Volume 19) is the second. There is a commentary on the song accompanying Volume 19. There the poem is divided into three strophes to facilitate discussion of the setting. However, it is printed here without subdivision, as it appears in the Schlegel Gedichte.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1996