The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
as if orchards were dying high in space.
Each leaf falls as if it were motioning “no.”
And tonight the heavy earth is falling
away from all other stars in the loneliness.
We’re all falling. This hand here is falling.
And look at the other one. It’s in them all.
And yet there is Someone, whose hands
infinitely calm, are holding up all this falling.
– Rainer Maria Rilke
Intermezzo in A major, Op. 118, No. 2 (1892)
Among the reverent Brahms acolytes, they speak of the storied “Autumnal” music from his final years. And what of this word, autumnal? What exactly does it mean and how, specifically, does it apply to Brahms? Mendelssohn said that music is more specific than words. What poetry could match this matchless music? (more…)