About this work
The horn calls that the singer of Schubert's Trost (Consolation, D. 671) hears in the first line of the song have already sounded through the five bars of the piano's introduction, and they will continue to sound throughout the duration of the song. Indeed, the mellow thirds and sixths of paired horns determines much of the song's material, from the piano accompaniment, to the vocal melody, right down to the key of the song, the natural horn's E flat. The song itself is remarkably cheerful sounding, even jaunty, considering that the poet is Johann Mayrhofer, a writer who was both idealistic and pessimistic in his verse as well as his life (he died a suicide). And, true to form, the last lines of the poem are about the narrator's longing for his dead beloved. But none of this is heard in Schubert's song, unless by ironic or pathetic juxtaposition.