A 'skolion' (originally a Greek word) is a drinking song where the cup is passed around from drinker to drinker. This is pleasant cheery music in B flat major with a hearty vocal line. John Reed has noticed that Schubert songs written in this key have a certain rhythmic energy and impetus. Skolie
is a little ditty which achieves its bracing energy through the semiquavers of the left hand which bustle and weave in impressive fashion and suggest the heightened vivacity induced by the consumption of alcohol. The whole of this miniature recalls the Beethoven of Die Wut über den verlornen Groschen
('Rage over a lost penny'), a piano piece which displays a similar combination of what Reed calls the 'vernacular style' in its melody, and a sophisticated pianistic ingenuity in its depiction of the commotion of the crowd.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1994