Tuesday, January 1, 2008

In Its Wake: Schumann's Piano Quintet

Quick! Lap cadence off the top of everything –
like cream – or steam or froth before it dissipates –
evaporates – ascends – goes back to where it came
from: that ineffable sweet choir in the loft of what
must surely be the seat and seed-bed of the Universe’s

highest faculties: that strange thin tease of aura
which exceeds, succeeds, precedes, proceeds –
that aural borealis – infinitely more than mere aurora –
light becoming sound becoming vibrant school to
any heart behind a thought – manifest emotion – taut

beyond the bearable: until another sudden discipline
of terrible bright notes precipitates like snowflakes:
fills you up again and makes you wonder when
you’ve ever felt such sweet voluptuous variety before –
forgetting in its paced replacement with a brand

new bliss the music which you kissed, and kissed you,
yesterday, last night, and sent you out another door
bewildered and complete. I could say more –
but now the telephone is ringing, and I long to hear
the strange inevitable singing in whoever’s on

the other end: articulated sound from largo to vivace
let the syllable-sonatas roll, and listen to their lilt
and toll: more audible warm evidence of soul. Simple
reason for this transmutation of all energy and matter
into music – of all atoms into the profoundly human.

Last night your violin played Robert Schumann.


for a taste of each of its movements:





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