This melody will seem maddeningly familiar to many listeners. This is because seven years later Schubert transposed it into B flat minor and used it as the basis for the Minore II
episode in the Entr'acte (No 5) after the third act of Rosamunde
(1823). John Reed very plausibly suggests that the composer, who was in the middle of his health crisis in 1823, might have recalled this music because of its connection with its words, 'No longer can I bear the burden of this suffering.' The setting is a magical combination of restless passion (the song is marked Unruhig
- restless) and the light Schubertian touch (pizzicato left hand quavers, a sinuous melody) which can always find an aspect of grace, perhaps even acceptance, in the worst emotional predicaments. The song thus remains delicate, suitable for insouciant whistling, despite its stark text and minor key colours. One of the reasons for this is the way that the tune lifts upwards at the end of lines (on the words 'länger' and 'Pilger').
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1995