This is a straightforward exercise, for Salieri, in the writing of a canon. It is sometimes forgotten that the venerable Italian composer also set tasks for Schubert in the German language. After more than forty years in the Austrian capital, he should have been able to speak the language after all, and know something about the literature. Salieri also composed a number of Lieder (including a setting of Matthisson's Andenken
which Schubert set as had Beethoven before him). This hymn to the joys of May was composed in the right month; whether this was the teacher's or the pupil's sense of occasion (Schubert may have been told to find his own text), or merely a coincidence, we do not know. The music has a robust, cheery quality which is reminiscent of the domestic vocal chamber music of earlier composers. This song brings to mind Haydn's quartet Alles hat seine zeit
published in 1803, with its refrain of 'Lebe, liebe, trinke, lärme'.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1991