The title is a line from a Wallace Stevens poem: Poetry Is a Destructive Force.  I received it yesterday in the mail from a poet friend and read it, thinking to myself, as I often do, "I don't understand this."   Later in the afternoon I played for the first time the Schumann cycle Forest Scenes for an audience of one, a former student who is a focused listener.  
This work is by far the closest to the bone piece of piano music I can imagine.  Technically it is beyond difficult, calling for a range of dynamics, tempo, power, touch, and everything else that might affect the sound of an instrument too complex to describe or notate.  
Wallace Stevens got it right:
    "It is a thing to have,
      A lion, an ox in his breast,
      To feel it breathing there. ..."
Playing it went far beyond any experience I have ever had except, perhaps, as a child hearing for the first time a sound that came like a lion directly into my soul.
 


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