WoO 111: Punschlied ("Пуншевая песня", "Wer nicht, wenn warm von Hand"), для голоса, хора и фортепиано

(www.beethoven-haus-bonn.de) This song seems to have preceded Trinklied, WoO. 109 (ca. 1792), which also features a unison chorus. While some musicologists have dated "Punschlied" back to 1789, it likely came around 1791, closer to the period of composition of Trinklied. The songs appear to be twins, or at least first cousins--not simply because they are drinking songs, but because of their textual similarities. Indeed, Trinklied was written for the occasion of a farewell to a friend or friends, while the earlier "Punschlied" was intended for a reunion. Both also use texts from unknown authors, perhaps the same one. "Punschlied" is a bit lighter in mood than the more earthy Trinklied. It is also perhaps somewhat less colorful, sounding predictable and bland in some of its choral writing. The piano accompaniment is not particularly distinguished either, featuring rather unimaginative harmonies. Still, for all the pedestrian qualities of the song, it is joyous and full of energy, divulging a youthful charm and a brightly-lit world. In the end, though, neither "Punschlied" nor Trinklied quite rises to the level of the then-recent cantatas by Beethoven, Auf den Tod Kaiser Josephs II, WoO. 87, and Auf die Erhebung Leopold des Zweiten zur Kaiserwürde, WoO. 88. True, both these 1790 works are uneven, but the first of them especially shows great promise, even considerable skill in much of its writing. "Punschlied" was published posthumously. (Robert Cummings, Rovi)