This canon (a celebration of the victory of the Allies at the Battle of Leipzig on 19 October 1813) is one of the very few pieces of music in Schubert's output which reflects the politics of the time. It is rather ironic that two days after this battle, the bureaucracy of the state functioned well enough for the Emperor Franz to send a memorandum from the field concerning the poor school grades of Franz Schubert: as a result of the pressure put on him to improve his academic work, Schubert left the Konvikt and began his training as a schoolteacher. The opening notes of the canon are strangely reminiscent of one of the most famous trios in opera, 'Mir ist so wunderbar' from Fidelio
, which is also of course canonic. Something wonderful had indeed happened for the Germans. For the canon the composer took only one strophe of a much longer anonymous poem which he used in its entirety in another work —Auf den Sieg der Deutschen
, D81—written for solo voice, two violins and a cello in the autumn of 1813. This has led to some speculation that Schubert himself may have been the patriotic author of the words.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1991