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Thread: Curious quotes

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    Default Curious quotes

    If you have heard a quote from a composer, conductor, or musician that made you say "Hmmm!" could you post it?

    Here are two:

    J.S. Bach: "Anybody who works just as hard will get just as far."

    Rachmaninov on Scriabin's super-hard opus 42 number 5 etude: "Difficult etude! I spent an hour on it."

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Another well-known quote by Bach: “It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.” I believe he was sincere in actually believing this and that it’s true if one has musical talent and practices.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Aug-07-2019 at 12:55.
    "That's all Folks!"

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    I've got a whole book of 'em:
    2019-08-07_080702.jpg


    So many great quotes, but the wittiest has to be "Wagner's music is better than it sounds." - Mark Twaint
    Last edited by mbhaub; Aug-07-2019 at 16:11.

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    Senior Member chill782002's Avatar
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    "Does he believe that I think about his miserable fiddle when the muse strikes me?" - Ludwig van Beethoven in relation to Ignaz Schuppanzigh after the latter complained about a particularly difficult passage in one of Beethoven's Op. 59 quartets.

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    I have nothing to say/ and I am saying it." -- John Cage

    I've often noted that quote in reference to Cage's famous "silent" piece, 4'33". Indeed, the remark says it all about the work. No?

    But, the actual quotation precedes the composition of 4'33" (written 1952) by a few years and was first delivered in a Cage essay: "Lecture on Nothing" (1949). The full quote runs as: "I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry as I need it."

    Cage delivered the essay as a lecture in 1949 to the 8th Street Artist’s Club, known as "The Club", established in Greenwich Village in 1948, as a place for artists to meet and talk. Perhaps his composition 4'33" was on Cage's mind at the time, but it wasn't officially penned till a few years later. Of course, musical compositions (like Russian novels and Sistine Chapel ceiling frescos) often take years to conceive and fashion. Still, Cage's comment is intriguing and, I suggest, profound.

    I believe my own comments upon Cage's musical work are even more profound than anything Cage himself said, and they are as follows:

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    Any time I teach a class, I remember this quote by Carl Nielsen: The simplest is the hardest, the universal is most lasting, the straightest the strongest, like the pillars that support the dome.

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    I've got a whole book of 'em:
    2019-08-07_080702.jpg


    So many great quotes, but the wittiest has to be "Wagner's music is better than it sounds." - Mark Twaint
    Except that Mark Twain didn't say it. It was another humorist named Bill Nye (not the science guy). Twain liked Wagner and even attended a Bayreuth Festival. His account of that is a great read, as always:

    http://www.twainquotes.com/Travel1891/Dec1891.html

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    "My 10th Sonata is a sonata of insects. Insects are born from the sun... they are the sun's kisses. How unified world-understanding is when you look at things this way."
    - A.N. Scriabin

    Yep.
    Last edited by DeepR; Aug-07-2019 at 22:27.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Except that Mark Twain didn't say it. It was another humorist named Bill Nye (not the science guy). Twain liked Wagner and even attended a Bayreuth Festival. His account of that is a great read, as always:

    http://www.twainquotes.com/Travel1891/Dec1891.html
    It was quoted in Twain's autobiography and credited to Nye, but somehow it got attributed to him. Still funny.

    Eugene Ormandy was a also a great source of bizarre sayings. I've known enough people who played under him to believe it.
    https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/...ormandy-quotes
    Last edited by mbhaub; Aug-07-2019 at 23:21.

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    "In 'thinking up' music I usually have some kind of a brass band with wings on it in back of my mind"
    ~Charles Ives

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    One more classic by Ives: “Stand up and take your dissonance like a man.”
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Aug-08-2019 at 07:19.
    "That's all Folks!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    One more classic by Ives: “Stand up and take your dissonance like a man.”
    Larkenfield, I'm sure I read something like "you godamn sissies, stand up" etc. but perhaps not, a lot of so called quotes are often apocryphal or distorted.
    This always makes me giggle...

    "...the music teacher came twice each week in an attempt to bridge the awful gap between Dorothy and Chopin".

    Also this by Ansermet, whose English was not the best as was evidenced in an altercation in the Kingsway Hall. His problem was that he prided himself in the use of idioms which often went wrong.

    "You think I know F*** nothing, but you are wrong, I know F*** all". (read it with no -ing at the end of the F word)

    Finally, Beecham..

    "The British don't like music, only the noise it makes".
    Last edited by mikeh375; Aug-08-2019 at 09:59.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbhaub View Post
    It was quoted in Twain's autobiography and credited to Nye, but somehow it got attributed to him. Still funny.

    Eugene Ormandy was a also a great source of bizarre sayings. I've known enough people who played under him to believe it.
    https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/...ormandy-quotes
    Great link mbhaub, had me in stitches....

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    Some of my favorites:

    Brahms.jpg

    DSCH.jpg

    LB2.jpg

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    Sir Colin Davis once told Michael Steinberg "[William] Walton is a one-work composer [the Second Symphony] . . . like Humperdinck and Britten."

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