This setting is very much in the mould of the earlier Ida songs—an air of demure grace and classical control is achieved by the sparest of piano writing. In this mood of quiet lucidity, Schubert never writes three notes where one will do. There are seventeen verses to Kosegarten's poem of which we perform the first, twelfth, fourteenth, fifteenth and last. There are some touching illustrative touches like the chirping of the crickets in the triplet accompaniment of the first verse. It is interesting that this oscillation is between the very same notes of F and B natural which Schubert used to depict the song of the crickets in the vocal line of the first verse of Stimme der Liebe
, written in May. The consistency of the motif suggests that the composer might be writing the sounds of nature exactly as he heard them, at least in 1815. In the two songs from this year, crickets chirp in the key of F in Schubert's ears. The most celebrated song about crickets is of course Der Einsame
from a decade later. For that masterpiece, the augmented interval has been replaced by gently chirping and hypnotically euphonious chords, but the tonality remains the same as in 1815.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1989