If I am to find my way back to myself, I have got to accept the horrors of loneliness, since you do not know what has gone on and is going on within me. It is, assuredly, no hypochondriac fear of death, as you suppose. I have long known that I have got to die. . . . Without trying to explain or describe something for which there probably are no words, I simply say that with a single fell stroke I have lost any calm and peace of mind I ever achieved. I stand vis-à-vie de rien , and now, at the end of my life, have to begin to learn to walk and stand.
The Octuor began with a dream in which I saw myself in a smallroom surrounded by a small group of instrumentalists playing some veryattractive music. I did not recognize the music, though I strained to hear it,and I could not recall any feature of it the next day, but I do remember mycuriosity—in the dream—to know how many the musicians were. Iremember too that after I had counted them to the number eight, I lookedagain and saw that they were playing bassoons, trombones, trumpets, aflute and a clarinet. I awoke from this little concert in a state of greatdelight and anticipation and the next morning began to compose theOctuor, which I had had no thought of the day before, though for sometime I had wanted to write an ensemble piece—not incidental music likeHistoire du Soldat, but an instrumental sonata.
"Life without music would be a mistake."
- Friedrich Nietzsche
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