This is another enchanting little song, delicate and Mozartian. The melody at the beginning ('Der Abend schleiert Flur und Hain') is almost childlike; in his opera Die Bürgschaft
(also from 1816) Schubert used it for the Romance of Anna
which describes a mother's search for her child. The following sequence ('in traulich holde Dämmrung ein') adds to the nursery-rhyme impression. However, all suspicion of banality vanishes with what follows when the tune takes off on a purely Schubertian harmonic expedition. The melody modulates into D (at 'hell flimmt, wo gold'ne Wölkchen ziehn') and back into G in the next bar before the vocal line is capped by a succession of semiquavers which pay homage to the 'Liebeskönigin' with a hand (and a tessitura) pointing up to the stars of the heavens followed by a courtly bow which sweeps the ground in its gallantry. As Reed points out the song is related in tonality and folksong simplicity to Heidenröslein
without achieving the memorability of that masterpiece. But Schubert obviously liked the poem well enough to use it again six years later for the four-part male chorus setting D747.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1995