Saturday, August 19, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Virgil Thomson (1896 – 1989)


American composer from Missouri, whose rural background gave a sense of place in his compositions.
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Virgil Thomson
Musicians own music because music owns them.
Thomson quotes
I let her alone and when she got that finished she left me alone. We trusted each other.
Thomson
I don't care what other critics say, I only hope to be played.




Thomson Virgil quotes
I don't go around regretting things that don't happen.
Thomson Virgil
Reviewing music or reviewing anything is a writing job. It's nice if you are experienced in the field you are writing about, but writing is what you are doing.
Virgil Thomson quotes
I got myself into a lovely little--shall we say controversy--with André Breton, by pointing out that the discipline of spontaneity, which he was asking his surrealist neophytes to adopt, was new for language but something that composers had been practicing for centuries.
Virgil Thomson
I never learned to verbalize an abstract musical concept. No thank you. The whole point of being a serious musician is to avoid verbalization whenever you can.
Thomson Virgil quotes
In Paris, you learn wit, in London you learn to crush your social rivals, and in Florence you learn poise.
Thomson
I've never known a musician who regretted being one. Whatever deceptions life may have in store for you, music itself is not going to let you down.
Thomson Virgil
I don't have to worry. No matter what they do to it, it works.
Virgil Thomson
The way to write American music is simple. All you have to do is be an American and then write any kind of music you wish.




Virgil Thomson quotes
Falsely conceived and rather clumsily executed crooked folklore and halfway opera. (Thomson's opinion of Porgy and Bess)
Virgil Thomson
You explain how it went, and as far as you can figure out how it got that way.
Thomson quotes
I thought of myself as a species of knight errant attacking dragons single-handedly and rescuing musical virtue in distress.
Thomson Virgil
The description and explanation is the best part of music reviewing. There is such a thing, and you know it too, as a gift for judgment. If you have it, you can say anything you like. If you haven't got it, you don't know you haven't got it. And everything you say will be held against you.
Thomson Virgil quotes
Let your mind alone, and see what happens.
Virgil Thomson
I said to my friends that if I was going to starve, I might as well starve where the food is good.
Virgil Thomson quotes
They look better than we do; they can wear all colors on stage. We're sort of oyster-colored.
Virgil Thomson
I seem to write an opera about every 20 years; if you live long enough you can write four operas. I finished my third in 1970.
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