Tuesday, November 24, 2020 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Thomas Beecham

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No composer has written as much as 100 bars of worthwhile music since 1925.

Thomas Beecham

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I think that if I were required to spend the rest of my life on a desert island, and to listen to or play the music of any one composer during all that time, that composer would almost certainly be Bach. I really can't think of any other music which is so all-encompassing, which moves me so deeply and so consistently, and which, to use a rather imprecise word, is valuable beyond all of its skill and brilliance for something more meaningful than that -- its humanity.

Glenn Gould

Perhaps the chief requirement of [the conductor] is that he be humble before the composer; that he never interpose himself between the music and the audience; that all his efforts, however strenuous or glamorous, be made in the service of the composer's meaning - the music itself, which, after all, is the whole reason for the conductor's existence."

Leonard Bernstein

As far as Bach is concerned, I never came close to liking him [-] My favourite composer is Scriabin -[and] his Fifth sonata, in my mind, the greatest piece of music ever written.

Henry Miller

"...We met in 1950, through John Cage, when I was sixteen and he in his early twenties. We were all doing work that was clearly different, newly different - from one another, but joined by our delight in each other's work (and by John Cage's organizing the concerts of it and a few musicians, David Tudor centrally, playing it), and by its difference from any other we knew. I still find mysterious his way of putting the music together, or rather of erasing any traces of a sense of its having been put together: it's just there. How does he do it? He's the only composer I know whose work seems made in a way that cannot be accounted for, explained, by any other means than the impossible one of becoming that composer oneself. He talked wonderfully, sharply, outrageously, but that wasn't quite his music. One thinks of the disparity of his large, strong presence and the delicate, hypersoft music, but in fact he too was, among other things, full of tenderness and the music is, among other things, as tough as nails." - Christian Wolff, Composer and Pianist

Morton Feldman

I can respect the artistic aim of a composer if he arrives at the so-called modern idiom after an intense period of preparationůSuch composers know what they are doing when they break a law; they know what to react against, because they have had experience in the classical forms and style. Having mastered the rules, they know which can be violated and which should be obeyed. But, I am sorry to say, I have found too often that young composers plunge into the writing of experimental music with their school lessons only half learned. Too much radical music is sheer sham, for this very reason: its composer sets about revolutionizing the laws of music before he learned them himself.

Sergei Rachmaninoff
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