Schumann, postmodern letters and the transient effect of light
The afternoon was very beautiful, there was a small meadow. The stones, arranged symmetrically, looked like rural seats. I sat on the grass, on a small tablecloth that my friend had left, and tried to play some music.
I randomly put Schumann. I was glad. I have the feeling that this joy came from a very childish desire to dramatize the afternoon.
I managed to dramatize the afternoon. Or the afternoon managed to dramatize me, because she always had more strength than me.
I'm listening Adagio and Allegro, from Schumann. It is 4:26 in the afternoon. I shouldn't, and yet I listen and grieve with tiny joy. I needed that. I came to the farm of Eduardo's parents. Here is a little place where I can rest. You should come with me one day, if you ever go back to Cuba.
Schumann was more deteriorated than any girl can be at this time.
You played Schumann for me one night, remember? We had played chess, we had drunk a little and you called me Amiga, and you told me that man was sad, and you told me Don't cry about it.
Are you asleep? I know that it is not.
Tell me what we heard that night. Tell me what tragicism I turned to. tell me why you were crying].
Kinderzenen (children's scenes)
Of German romanticism, probably the least listened to is Schumann.
Schumann is like Novalis, a violet or amber thing. I don't like those colors. Schumann is like Géricault in his tragic sense (in the intention of reproducing the tragic in a more or less sweet way. I don't like dramatic sweetness either), but Schumann is something else, it is a children's scene in the middle of a field.
Schumann is not Romanticism.
I would have put, in my tragedy, a very sad mass, it is true; or the german requiem of Brahms, or the beautiful Carmen of Bizet.
But my afternoon was an afternoon to listen to exactly what had fallen on the player.
Of course I cried with him Kinderzenen, because it was the piece of my reminiscence, a recovered piece of childhood. That's why I cried. Because childhood was not back except with the sounds, with an almost real pain, almost its own, almost too serious.
Love, you were crying because you didn't understand and because the interpreter's voice was serious (...). In those days you cried for anything.
It fell Overture Manfred.
dementia praecox it is the same as schizophrenia(,) which is what Schumann had. You asked me that night and I told you you didn't have that. You cried like a schizophrenic (...), as if you knew something else (...).
() What do you know?
That music calms you because sadness is counteracted.
Don't dwell on the matter any more.
I love you.].
Träumerei (The daydream)
[Dream the piece was called].
Exactly on the third beat of the third measure I got very sad. Eduardo was late and the place was quiet, and I took the opportunity to send a couple of messages, and I took the opportunity to put my hands to my eyes like a little girl or like a psychiatric patient (as if they weren't the same thing from time to time).
What hurts me about Schumann is the little hysteria of crying. Pain modulated to G minor.
That is a dream: a modulated pain.
(The crying was repeated with some variations).
Das paradies und die Peri
Schumann once said that while writing You give paradise..., a voice whispered in his ear that his compositions were not entirely useless.
I can imagine the anguish that leads someone to invent voices, the loneliness that makes the breath of those voices prosperous. (It is the same loneliness of someone who turns on the radio in the morning to hear a voice that is not their own).
That meadow was a stony paradise. And I swear it was mine, I swear I tried my gift to heaven, I swear I was more pagan and cleaner than any god invented by man.
(I. The tear of repentant sinners. The worthlessness of a remote field. petite whore. The last breath of mortal sacrifices. Schumann and postmodern meadows. The open sky like a tiny wound.
My crying is not entirely useless.
But the meadows do not speak.).
Papillons (Op 2)
Schumann's butterflies are inspired by the last scene of flegeljahre, from Richter.
It could seem like a happy, carnivalesque work. But Papillons It is a very sad and melancholic work.
This is usually discovered in the Valse in D minor. The piece alternates between F major and A major, after having begun so sadly…
[César, are you afraid of something? You always ask me the same thing and I never know what to tell you. I love the fears of lucid people. They are beautiful sometimes.
It started to get a little cold and I covered myself with the tablecloth. Papillons it was ringing for a long time. I didn't change anything. I imagined things, as always. I imagined poor Schumann on the edge of the piano. I imagined my head in someone else's lap. The cold was getting more and more unbearable. Occasionally it made me want to scream.
[I'm afraid of dying, and heights too, but they make me more dizzy than afraid. The spiders, the bees, and sometimes I'm scared for you,
not of you but for you, it scares me that you think you will always be sadand].
Schumann did not know how to play the piano.
Arabesque in C major It is sadness and it is joy. But it's mostly sadness.
Schumnan had been hallucinating for years, he had had manic and depressive periods for years.
Schumann was bipolar and sad most of the time. The end of Arabesque in C major looks like another piece. (The same as the cleansing cry after the maniacal laughter). He tried to commit suicide a few times. Blessed is he for having had Clara's love. Blessed is he who had something more than a song in the midst of all that brokenness. I imagine that at those hours it doesn't matter who loves and who stops loving. But that girl's love was always there. (Love and its pianist's fingers).
While the Arabesque I crossed my feet and wondered how much sadness it takes to want to jump off a bell tower.
Schumann was, when he composed, all the characters of Papillons, he was the distinct movements within a single sadness.
Sonatas for piano and violin it is a symptom of all his madness.
He hallucinate with angels.
He was sick enough in the head to fear that the angels would hurt Clara.
(I know why there are no bell towers in the meadows).
Et in hora mortis nostrae
The last thing that sounded before Eduardo picked me up (almost nightfall) was the Ave Maria. I thought about things like the voices inside the head. Like the way to look for a voice in a lonely house or in a distant meadow (a whisper, that's what you look for, because nobody expects a scream in solitude).
Die crazy. Dying mad in an asylum. die of sadness To die owing to life the happy symphonies. To die without having written a single waltz stripped of anguish. To die without life having been just humoreske. To die alone (and Clara forgive me). No one dies with anyone, but there are hands that help to die, and they are never their own.
Their own hands write letters and symphonies to dramatize the afternoons.
The Pity of William Blake making his way on a wintry afternoon in the middle of a field. A modern postcard from London with an invitation to the Tate Collection. An old book with two notes.
Schumann's defective hands on the piano that afternoon. Hiding from the Nazis in a monastery, waltzing over our heads.
The stones arranged symmetrically like white keys. The symmetry of the waltz. The tremendous of the afternoon.
Dying crazy is accepting death symphonically: like an adagio: like a force that leads the hand to the final chord: like a small meadow where the tablecloths cover us from the cold: like a postmodern letter that is always sent with the desire for answers :
How to pronounce the wait knowing that the letter and the presence are very different things
[I don't want to die crazy. But I guess it's a little late to indulge in certain luxuries. When I tell you I'm afraid it's because my chest trembles. The romantic painters discovered something in the light. I never discovered anything in the light. When I tell you I'm scared it's because my hands are shaking enough to listen to a song without hearing it.].
On July 29, 1856, at the age of 46, Schumann died.
They say that from the old cemetery in Bonn you can see some bell towers. They say that angels do not exist at all. They say that a vision is the sign of a breakdown. They say that voices are as annoying as light is to the eyes of a newborn. They say that light is necessary so as not to jump into the abyss, because one jumps looking for it.
It's another day and I put those songs back.
A composer who doesn't know how to play the piano. That must be very sad. But some crazy people have the gift of inventing sounds inside. To create light in the midst of darkness. That is the only thing that saves.
Transient are the light and some madness. And they are very eternal. That ancient symphony brought me, in this century, some tears and peace.
Unanswered letters. The fear of hearing an angel. The boy on the radio who doesn't notice that I got up to listen to him. The glasses arranged symmetrically like stones, like rural seats. At certain times everything returns. Music returns like an angel and like a mirror.
[The transient effect of light:
I'm afraid of that].