Music of night and mystery is ushered in with a slow march that momentarily resembles the passacaglia figure of Der Doppelgänger
in a benign incarnation. This is followed by a very much faster section in triple time. This scheme reflects the metrical plan of the poem where the first, third, fifth and seventh verses are made up of slow trochees, and the even-numbered verses contain quicker dactyls. To the passionate outpourings already familiar from other Körner settings, this song adds bold rhythmical dislocations in the left hand of the piano and even bolder modulations. The recurring words 'Sehnsucht der Liebe schlummert nie' provoke a passage of astonishing audacity and restlessness which may look harmless enough on paper, but when vocal line and throbbing chords clash the result sounds vehemently unhinged. This is well and truly a musical match for the disorientated and restless longing of Körner's poem.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1989