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Thomas Beecham

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Too much counterpoint; what is worse, Protestant counterpoint.
Of J. S. Bach; quoted by Neville Cardus, Guardian, 8 March 1971

Thomas Beecham

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Shh. Listen to the sounds that surround you. Notice the pitches, the volume, the timbre, the many lines of counterpoint. As light taught Monet to paint, the earth may be teaching you music.

Pete Seeger

With a wracking head and literally my whole body shaking as with ague I write this and tell you I have just this afternoon early finished Clavicembalisticum... The closing 4 pages are so cataclysmic and catastrophic as anything I've ever done the harmony bites like nitric acid the counterpoint grinds like the mills of God...

Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji

Just as counterpoint and harmony follow their own laws, and differ in rhythm and movement, both formal tensions and color tensions have a development of their own in accordance with the inherent laws from which they are separately derived. Both, however, aim toward the realization of the same image. And both deal with the depth problem.

Hans Hofmann

First Shakespeare sonnets seem meaningless; first Bach fugues, a bore; first differential equations, sheer torture. But training changes the nature of our spiritual experiences. In due course, contact with an obscurely beautiful poem, an elaborate piece of counterpoint or of mathematical reasoning, causes us to feel direct intuitions of beauty and significance. It is the same in the moral world.

Aldous Huxley

"Counterpoint texts tend to resemble one another in the underlying principles of voice-leading they espouse and in the kinds of orderings of rules they provide, but no one could accuse the harmony texts of, let us say, Heinrich Schenker and Hugo Riemann, or of Allen Irvine McHose and Walter Piston--or for that matter, of Arnold Schoenberg, Paul Hindemith, and Roger Sessions--of being mutually compatible, either in premise or in practice."

Harold Powers
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