This is a charming little trifle with delightful piano interludes and a merry postlude. The poem, which is of no great import, has nine verses. Schubert wrote out the first verse, and added the words 'eight more verses' under the stave. This is a rare instance of a miscalculation. Schubert (perhaps unintentionally) trifled with the poet's words in the fifth line of the music and instead of Ermin's words 'du fröhliches Gewimmel' he expands it to 'mit deinem fröhlichen Gewimmel'. As he set the poem, did his eye perhaps stray up to the second line of the text in front of him, when he should have been looking at the third? This amplification of the text works very well for the first verse—the composer makes it fit, but it renders the other strophes unsingable with the music as there are too few syllables of text for the number of notes! On this occasion we have opted simply to repeat the words of the first verse which is short and charming enough to warrant a second hearing.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1989