From the glow of enthusiasm I let the melody escape. I pursue it. Breathless I catch up with it. It flies again, I seize it. I embrace it with delight. I multiply it then by modulations, and at last I triumph in the first theme. There is the whole symphony.
You ask me where I get my ideas. That I cannot tell you with certainty. They come unsummoned, directly, indirectly - I could seize them with my hands - out in the open air, in the woods, while walking, in the silence of the nights, at dawn, excited by moods which are translated by the poet into words, by me into tones that sound and roar and storm about me till I have set them down in notes.