The second version of this song from 1817 (D587) was long thought to be the first, and this setting was accordingly classified as Schubert's final attempt to set the poem, apart, that is, from a merry song for male voice quartet (D338) which adds a number of 'La La La La's to the poem. What can one say about the spring-like freshness of the melody here, less priapic and lusty than D587, but suffused with the uplifting spirit of spring, reminiscent of Sehnsucht nach dem Frühling
, a song from Mozart's last year, an inspiration for the Piano Concerto K595, and in the same key and time-signature as this Schubert song? It is yet one more reminder that the seemingly simple formula for a perfect strophic song is a spell that works only in the hands of the greatest masters.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1989