Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, Fuga, 1908
By the time Čiurlionis wrote that letter he had already composed two symphonic poems, The Forest (1901) and The Sea (1907), and was starting work on a new composition, The Creation of the World, based on the paintings he had completed in 1905. In these years he was moving freely between music and art, fusing the two in synesthetic paintings like the Sonata of the Stars, one of a series that began in 1907 with Sonata of the Sun, with its four parts: 'Allegro', 'Andante', 'Scherzo' and 'Finale'. In such hybrid works, variation in sound is suggested by the intensity of colour, changes in tempo by the rhythm of lines and shapes. The treeline on the horizon in Fuga ('Fugue') now looks like the waves of a Soundcloud, recording the underlying harmonies of nature. Čiurlionis experienced the landscape musically: he wrote of the Carpathians that 'the mountains, though not high, are very melodious.' But sadly there was little time left to compose himself: in 1910, suffering from exhaustion, he was admitted to the Czerwony Dwór sanatorium. Although his health began slowly to improve, Čiurlionis caught a cold one day while out walking, contracted pneumonia and died at the age of thirty-five.