The first version from 1815 (Volume 7) is a melodic delight with its gentle Mozartian elegance, but here we have much more overt passion. Capell calis this song 'placid'—which may apply to the first version but not to this re-working of the text. It resembles, on the printed page, the reflective litany of Goethe's Nähe des Geliebten
(Volume 1), and the great inner passion stoking that song, strophe by strophe, to ever more rapturous emotion, also pulsates through Stimme der Liebe
: we hear the ebullience of nature on the move. Schubert invents an accompaniment which is superbly suited to many an idea in the poem. Firstly, its rolling progress (impossible for the singer if it is too slow), conveys the ecstasy of the whole, but then it is appropriate also for the song of crickets, throbbing with the vibrancy of a summer night, more recklessly than in the measured homely song of Der Einsame
. In the second verse the idea of whispering and rustling can also be caught by the piano (with a change of dynamic of course), and the idea of the airy footsteps of 'Zephyrtritt' goes equally well with the piano's pacings. John Reed is right to point out that such an accompaniment became a cliché in nineteenth-century song, but here it is used with totally convincing freshness. Place on top of it a generous and open-hearted vocal line with a wonderful sequence (starting with Hesperus's lordly overview) of D minor to A minor, answered by a move from C minor to G major, and we have a page of absolutely inimitable Schubert.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1990