The first bars speak of clarity and of sadness. Of love and madness. This piece is a frightening good-bye. In a last burst of desperate creativity the composer wrote his own musical epitaph. I imagine him, at times fully aware of his mental illness, at times in total denial. I feel his pain, his loneliness. He is desperate, he is helpless. He is the recognized musical genius of his time, he is a withdrawn human wreck. Schumann.