We all know the impression of a very heavy flash of lightning in the night. Within a second’s time we see a brad landscape, not only in its general outlines but with every detail. Although we could never describe each single component of the picure, we feel that not even the smallest leaf of grass escapes our attention. We experience a view, immensely comprehensible and at the same time immensely detailed, that we never could have under normal daylight conditions, and perhaps not during the night either, if our senses and nerves were not strained by the extraordinary suddenness of the event.
Compositions must be conceived the same way. If we cannot, in the flash of a single moment, see a composition in its absolute entirety, with every pertinent detail in its proper place, we are not genuine creators.
Paul Hindemith, A Composer’s World: Horizons and Limitations, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1952, pp. 60-61