The bass notes

“I am too old to be content to play,
Too young to be without desire.
What wonders would the world reveal?
You must renounce! You ought to yield!
That is the never-ending drone
Which we must, our life long, hear.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part I (from Goethe’s Faust, trans. Walter Kaufman)

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