Scene 1. Concert
Robert Schumann conducts the orchestra, moves the bodies, which in the shape of instruments, move the first sounds of the song. The concert is on, suspended in the artist’s mind between reality and a hazy dream. The growing pain of his hand makes Robert unable to produce sounds accurately. Then Clara appears, gently enters the stream of thoughts and helps to give the composer the right direction. The delicate feminine shape becomes a support for her husband, gives him a feeling that, despite struggling with his own body, he will manage to bring the concert to the last sound.
Scene 2. Retrospection of the relationship
The scene shows the rustle of images from Clary and Robert’s memories. A shared diary – once containing their thoughts, emotions and requests – appears between them. It is a journey through the spaces of saved pages, traversing notes and images of days that are blurred with Robert’s disease. The happy and velvety past clashes here with a sticky and dense sound – coming from hallucinations, depression and anxiety of the pianist.
Clara clears the snapshots of fear, thanks to which everything returns to the standard form.
Scene 3. Lullaby
Robert leaves the stage, followed by eight children. The rustling of words causes fatigue, and Clara strokes children to sleep.
Scene 4. Photograph
Clara and the children are preparing for a joint photo. Unexpectedly, a family friend appears – Johannes Brahms. The bodies of Clara and Johannes become a kind of alphabet that the youngest are observing with curiosity the unusual composition in an unobvious crescendo. Four consecutive duets depict the stages of the main heroine’s relationship with Brahms. The first meetings in the fortissimo of delight. Another interpenetration cuddled with sound whose rhythm affects the relationship with children. Then the gradual wandering of desires from under the silence. Mutual attraction is crowned with a body dialogue initiated by Brahms. Composers are looking for a standard method of raising children who grow up joyfully and confidently until Robert returns. Clara’s husband comes back eventually and sees a picture of a happy family in which a young friend stands in his (husband’s) place.
Scene 5. Love Triangle
Robert meets Brahms, and his shaking hands shows that he respects the talented young composer. Conversation into three bodies begins. The talk is about the most important things for them both – about music and Clara. The words are too hard and uncomfortable. The second combination of Robert and Johannes’ hands shows them as Clara’s husband and lover. The woman with Brahms seems to create a mirror image of the relationship with Robert, but with her lover, she feels much more understanding and closeness. Clara and Brahms run away.
Scene 6. Robert’s Solo
Seven notes enter the stage, of which Robert composes a new song. The body waves in space, subject to change moments of weakness and strength of genius, auditory hallucinations and precision of sound – until hand pain becomes the worst nightmare.
Scene 7. Brahms’ Solo
Every movement means something different here – a haze of thoughts, emotions, a sense of lack of belonging intertwined with romance, desire and disagreement – lost in a silent melancholy.
Scene 8. Carnival
The bodies in the madness of joy permeate space. Unbridled euphoria continues at its best when a suicide attempt occurs – Robert jumps from the bridge to the Rhine river.
Scene 9. Psychiatric Hospital
The nurses put on a straitjacket for Robert, next to them stands Clara, almost ready for her last meeting with her husband. Space is saturated with her name. Clara, Clara, Clara … Shapeless, twisted bodies meander around – the boundary between madness and normality disappears. The world goes out when Clara goes ahead after saying goodbye to Robert.
Scene 10. Last meeting with Brahms
The fear of responsibility chokes Brahms and increases the desire to give up on Clara. He leaves the woman alone on stage.
Scene 11. Clara’s Solo
A stream of thoughts tears Clara apart. Every movement, bitter and biting, exposes her, intensifies emotions, increases pain. A fragile body – devoted to fighting for so long – falls. There is a silent scream on the stage, and the air soaks up with despair. Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms appear on the stage next to her. Three heroes go away into the shadows – they return to the world of the dead.