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The mood is cheekily racy thinly disguised by courtly euphemism; the decorations in the vocal line at 'umgeben' in the second line lend a period flavour to the proceedings. This is Schubert in his Watteauesque 'Fêtes galantes' mode ( if only he had known it!). The capricious setting of the final line of the strophe ('wo die Liebesgötter scherzten') is virtuosic for the singer (such fast passagework with quick leaps can all too easily degenerate into a Swiss yodel) and utterly captivating for the audience. It also works its magic in the second strophe where one wonders if there could ever have been a more delectable musical incarnation of 'blondes and brunettes'. The postlude in semiquaver triplets, one hand chasing the other, is distinctly dance-like. And yet despite all this fun one feels a sense of modified rapture, even decorum, in this music. It is this which keeps it firmly within the pasticheur's frame.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1995
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