Schubert had a gift for writing simple, unpretentious works that are anything but simple-minded. Although this piece is deceptively easy at first hearing, it has quicksilver turns of harmony and mood that are the hallmarks of Schubert’s best music. A ländler (pronounced “lend-ler”) is a rustic dance in triple time. Popular in Europe during the early 19th century, it’s usually performed at a lively tempo and was the forerunner of the waltz. Technically this is a fairly easy piece, and the predominant rhythm is a quarter note upbeat followed by a half note downbeat. But as you’ll hear, this apparently simple piece offers a wealth of possibilities in articulation and phrasing. In some places I’ve applied upbeat grouping in a subtle way, in other places I apply it more liberally. Listen, for example, to the passage beginning at 2:03, where I wanted a mincing quality, so I did a rather obvious upbeat grouping in all three parts. In contrast, at the da capo section (2:14) I wanted a more subdued mood, so what little grouping I do here is very slight. You might also notice that when I do portamento between two notes, it’s often on an upbeat. (Ornaments also can sound particularly good when played either on or near an upbeat.) Bear in mind this kind of playing requires attentive hearing—people who listen passively are unlikely to notice it. But if you listen closely, you’ll notice how much my performance relies on upbeat grouping.