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The form of the song is a simple ABA with art concealing art in the way that the composer returns to the music of the first strophe with a tiny bridge passage (a single bar) of simplicity and delicate ingenuity. There are delicious touches throughout: the exotic introduction of A sharp in the bass (the key is E major) on the perfumed word 'Rosen', thus slyly initiating a brief move to the dominant; the use of triplets in the vocal line to paint green shoots ('frisches Grün') cheekily emerging, as well as the caressing west wind and the singing of birds; the sudden rapturous semiquavers on 'reisst mich hin'; the beautiful little postlude where the semiquavers go into the left hand while the tune in the right suggests gratitude and piety.
Schubert selected only the first three of Uz's seven strophes, and the song seems the perfect length for the open-hearted yet simple pantheistic hymn the composer makes of it. It reflects the composer's own religious conviction in the absence of a commitment to the church of his fathers – that intuition accompanied by strong emotion which Spinoza called 'the intellectual love of God' and which acknowledges the dependence of all things, including the human being himself, on the whole of nature.
from notes by Graham Johnson © 1993
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