by ISABELLA DAWIS
1st year BM Soprano
Editor’s note: Florestan and Eusebius are two fictitious personalities created by composer Robert Schumann. They represent two sides of his bipolar personality.
Florestan: Eusebius and I have noticed that you’ve been paying a lot of attention to Robert Schumann and his music. But you don’t pay nearly as much attention to us.
Eusebius: It’s understandable, because both of us are best friends with Schumann, and all three of us are composers. It may be difficult to distinguish which one is which.
F: We’ll try to make it easier for you.
E: The basic difference is that Florestan is bold, rash, and passionate, while I am thoughtful, lyrical, and dreamy.
F: So, I’m a man and Eusebius is a girl.
E: Your name is Florestan.
F: Or you could think about it like this—I skydive and swim with sharks, and Eusebius picks flowers. I’m really fun to talk to, and when you talk to Eusebius, you get confused because sometimes he stops talking and his eyes glaze over.
E: Florestan likes to say outlandish, silly things, and then he changes his mind. I take the time to choose my words carefully, so when I do say something, it’s quietly profound.
F: Eusebius will move you to tears, and it’s very, very painful.
E: Hey! We don’t normally fight like this. Without Schumann, the balance is totally off.
F: Sorry. We’ve been under a lot of stress lately.
E: Commanding the League of David is tough. Suiting up every day to fight the Philistines, battling mediocrity in all its tiresome forms… It’s brutal, thankless work.
Dude: No way! You guys are on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
F: Are they anti-Rossini?
E: Have no fear. The enemy will be overthrown. It may take a couple hundred more years—but we will slay every one of those tasteless Philistines. Just saying.
We’re working hard. Doesn’t hurt to give a little credit where it’s due.
F: Ask yourself—when you’re drifting off to sleep at night, happily humming symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms—who’s keeping you safe from harmful music? Who do you have to thank for protecting you from all the bad music out there?
E: Think about it.