is Mendelssohn-in-a-nutshell, its strophic form, warmth and sweetness, and subtle details precisely the characteristics for which this composer is best known in the realm of song. The Volkslied
sets a poem by the Scots poet Robert Burns (‘The Ploughman Poet’ or ‘The Bard of Ayrshire’) as translated into German by Ferdinand Freiligrath, famous in his day for his political and nationalist poetry. Mendelssohn’s duet setting of this text, Op 63 No 5, is familiar to many, but the composer also wrote out solo versions in 1842 and in his wife Cécile’s songbook at Christmas 1845.
from notes by Susan Youens © 2010