Pulsation. Dynamics. Passion. Beauty. Sublimity. Eternity. On 29 May 1841, Robert Schumann noted he had the “hint of a thought for a symphony”. A day later, his wife Clara Wieck made an entry into the Schumann’s common diary: “Yesterday [Robert] has started to write another symphony, that should comprise only one movement, but also an adagio and a fugue. I haven’t heard anything yet, but I observe Robert being busy, and at times I hear that D minor sound wildly from afar and I know that this works comes from the depth of his soul.” What an admirable description!
A peaceful morning after a stormy night. A thunderstorm has battered the countryside during the night, torrential rain and gusts replaced the almost unbearable heat. Equilibrium has been restored. But it is unstable and easily disturbed. In the papers I read more and more often about droughts – in Western Europe. Farmers are suffering considerable losses, drinking water is becoming scarce. Our planet is a fragile thing and our climate is even more fragile. Will humanity be able to preserve this delicate equilibrium?
Endless progress. Perpetual Extension. A certain idea of the vastness of space, to be filled with music. Solemn, grandiose music. Those keywords kept coming back while I read Wolfram Steinbeck’s study on Franz Schubert’s symphonies and more specifically about Schubert’s Symphony No. 2 in B flat, D. 125. Schubert wrote this early symphony between December 1814 and March 1815. The short time span shows Schubert’s determination to master a form considered to be the purest art form in Romanticism. The writer E. T. A. Hoffmann who so strongly inspired Robert Schumann, wrote: “[This kind of music] is the key to a realm unknown to humans; a world that has nothing in common with the exterior world that we perceive with our senses […] where all feelings, that could be described by words, are left behind and fade into the indescribable.”
It is summer and it is hot. 32 degrees in the shadow and I feel lazy, so lazy. The cello feels a little lazy too. Too hot! The violin, energetic as ever, is of a different opinion: “Come on, you lazy idiot! Get up let’s have some fun.” As for the viola, it hardly has an opinion ever and goes along with the majority. It is too hot! Too hot to have an opinion, too hot even to write this post. It is not too hot however to listen to the Lendvai String Trio performing Julius Röntgen’s String Trio No. 10 in F Minor. It’s such a delightful piece.