This is rather a stirring piece of music and a challenging sing. The accompaniment is made up almost entirely of restless repetitions of a single motif – right-hand semiquaver triplets falling to a quaver; the left hand, mainly in octaves, is made up of striding quavers. There is nothing here of the melancholy trudge in Schubert’s Der Wanderer an den Mond, much less of the majesty in the same composer’s famous Der Wanderer or Winterreise. The music achieves a vehemence (with a high A) that is not really appropriate to the protagonist’s state of mind; one can sense how the piece of music has developed almost independently of the text. This traveller, despite being allowed a final cadential flourish, is scarcely allowed to think about his feelings – in short, the piece moves too relentlessly for the introspection of the poem. There are some awkward corners where the harmonic progressions are not entirely convincing, but if this is indeed the work of a young teenager she shows that she already has a strong and determined personality.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 2003