Inspired by the wild and eccentric Kapellmeister Kreisler of E. T. A. Hoffmann’s novels, Schumann’s eight-movement, improvisatory-feeling Kreisleriana was composed in 1838 during his engagement to piano virtuoso Clara Wieck, and includes a theme she wrote. Its wildly contrasting emotions may also represent two psychologically pole-opposite alter-egos Schumann created for himself, Florestan and Eusebius. Debussy described his Préludes as “scenes from my emotional life”. Book 1 opens in Ancient Greece with Dansers of Delphi, then moves to Sails with its blend of whole-tone and pentatonic scales. The set’s own contrasting juxtapositions include following tender The Girl with the Flaxen Hair with stormy What the West Wind Has Seen, and preceding Puck’s Dance with The Submerged Cathedral‘s majestic rise from the ocean bed.