The songs of Robert Franz (1815–1892) are relatively unknown outside the German-speaking world, but he holds an interesting place for his ability to produce a song so devoid of extraneous matter such as introductions, codas or developments as to be positively aphoristic. Many of the songs which Liszt transcribed are of this nature, and Liszt’s transcriptions remain, in general, very close to Franz’s music. The only extended transcription is the first of them, ‘He came in wind and rain’, to a poem by Rückert. Where Franz more or less contented himself with the same music for each of the verses—which describe the lover’s coming as unexpected, love as a real hope, and love, despite the greyness of the weather, being bright and eternal—Liszt allows a musical intrusion of greyness before love triumphs.
from notes by Leslie Howard © 1991