This is one of the least known of all the Hölty settings and one of the most appealing. It appears in the Therese Grob songbook and there it remained until rescued by Reinhard Van Hoorickx. It is inconceivable that had it been included in the Peters Edition it would have not have been widely performed for the last hundred years. 'As sweet as a May morning' Reed writes with justification. The tune with its lifts upwards towards the blue heavens at the end of the first two phrases is irresistible. The fledglings whistle their melodies outdoors and the piano comments in a veritable sinfonia (something like the Haydn
'Toy' Symphony) of cheeky warblings. In the postlude these answer each other in different octaves as if parents and children in the bird world are conversing. A horn figure in the accompaniment, at 'Schwalben kehren wieder', betokens music al fresco and is a sign that earlier versions of this piece was written for two voices (D129) or for two voices or two horns (D199). The solo setting makes use of some of the earlier ideas but it is definitely the best of the three versions. There is a sense of well-being which radiates from this song; there is joy here as well as peace, merriness as well as something indefinably touching which brings a lump to the throat. In short this song is an entirely lovable and a welcome addition to the mainstream Schubert repertoire.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1995