Robert Schumann who is very close to me, also as a sensitive and fragile personality, composed "Thema mit 5 Variationen" in E-flat major, the so-called "Geistervariationen", in February 1854.
At that time he imagined himself surrounded by apparition shapes which presented partly "wonderful", partly "hideous" music for him. He meant to hear angel voices which gave him the choral-like "Tema", which he immediately noted down. Soon afterwards followed his famous fall in the Rhine and the committal to psychiatry in Endenich.
In my piece Tema, written to the 150-annual celebration of the Akademie für Tonkunst Darmstadt (by chance founded in immediate temporal neighborhood, namely in 1852), I wanted to develop a psychogram, plasticly, concretely, quasi realistically, music about music, in the knowledge, that music can only represent if it refers to other.
In long pulled, bit by bit condensing approaches the first three tones of the "Tema" constellate to each other over and over again anew, grop more and more to it, until it bursts really out of it for some bars, removed increasing from it again like in a swirl and culminates in a wild collage, mounted of different Schumann pieces. Affecting fragments of sentences remain which Schumann registered during these days into one of his "Haushaltsbücher".
In the course of the whole piece is hardly perceptibly to hear in extreme height tinnitus-like the electronically generated tonic of the variation work. Only those persons who suffer from this illness normally hears such tones or noises (so for instance Schumann or also I). However, by the fact that now they are made quasi audible for the recipient, this recipient dives so to speak into the world of another person, changes maybe to Schumann and observes with him the events like from the bottom of a lake.
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