Beethoven: Spark of Joy – the lied, “Der Wachtelschlag” (The Quail Song) –
Another fascinating comparison is the various settings of “Der Wachtelschlag” (The Quail Song), based on a widely-known folk song from the 18th century in which the rhythm of the bird’s song constantly reminds the listener to invoke God. Schubert’s setting is the voice of the merry quail, while Beethoven takes the poem far more seriously and from the perspective of the human being who listens to these worshipful injunctions. His storms are more tempestuous, his acclamations of God’s praise grander, and his pleas for God’s aid more urgent. [Notes by Margaret Scialdone.]
First, Schubert’s song, and then Beethoven’s.