John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Jamie MacDougall (tenor), Simon Keenlyside (baritone), Michael George (bass), Graham Johnson (piano)
Trinklied (Castelli) for tenor, male voice chorus and piano, D148 (1815)
Trinklied (Zettler) for single voices, chorus and piano, D183 (1815)
Trinklied im Winter (Hölty) for trio of unaccompanied male voices, D242 (1815)
Trinklied (author unknown) quartet for male voices and piano, D267 (1815)
Trinklied (author unknown) fragment for voice and male chorus, D356 (1816)
Trinklied im Mai (Hölty) for trio of unaccompanied male voices, D427 (1816)
Trinklied (Shakespeare) for solo voice and piano, D888 (1826)
Trinklied aus dem 16. Jahhundert (Gräffer) for quartet of unaccompanied male voices, D847 (1825)
In addition to these Trinklieder there are two songs in praise of punch entitled Punschlied, and the glories of the grape are extolled in a number of other songs (for example the two settings of Schiller’s Dithyrambe—D47, the first of these, and D75 begin in a similar way with a loud fanfare of tonic, mediant and dominant – 1, 3 and 5 of the scale – perhaps a drinking-motif). One can only presume that by the age of sixteen the young Schubert was permitted to take part in his first summer drinking parties. In America, this young man who looked even younger than his age, would have been required to show his ID, and then summarily refused a drink. There is, however, a touch of his DNA to be detected in this piece. Although there is every sign that this prototype Trinklied is a pièce d’occasion, (specially written for a gathering, probably of his school chums during their holiday break, if the words ‘Lasst uns alle Brüder sein’ are at all significant), Schubertian individuality is not completely inaudible. True, there is a bow to the traditional formulae in the opening contrasts of forte chords and scurrying piano quavers, but there is a compact elegance about the music (and a practised way of writing for the bass voice and chorus) which show that the vine is not the only thing capable of bearing fruit. If he was temporarily on holiday from Salieri’s influence and the high-flown texts of Metastasio, they had definitely helped him reach a new stage of proficiency.
This was the sort of thing that the composer was capable of putting together in an hour on the day of the party, but in the absence of a photocopier he would also have had to write out the parts. He was soon to become even busier. The season of 1813/14 was about to begin, and with it a new and exciting period of Schubert’s musical life. In little over a year he would write his first uncontested vocal masterpiece, and there were to be many fine songs before that. The clinking of glasses on that summer night in Vienna heralded the close of adolescence and the beginning of his emotional and musical independence. Have another drink, Franz; one never knows what the future will bring! But even at this early stage of his life, sadness is inextricably mixed with jollity. Only three days before (and the news had probably not yet reached Vienna), one of Schubert’s heroes, the poet Theodor Körner, had been killed in battle.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1999