It seems likely that Schumann conceived these short works as a cycle. The keys of the four songs – B flat major, G minor, E flat major and C minor – suggest a carefully planned tonal scheme. One further Lenau song, Frühlingsgrüsse, was not published until 1942. Fischer-Dieskau avers that this was originally meant to be a part of the set but its content does not fit with these four military poems (which Lenau published together, and in this order, under the title Husarenlieder). Schumann probably decided to sacrifice Frühlingsgrüsse in the interests of publishing a shorter cycle with a unified theme. It was dedicated to the singer Heinrich Behr.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1998