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Composers quotes

Brahms on Schubert

My love for Schubert is a very serious one, probably because it is no fleeting fancy. Where is genius like his, which soars heavenwards so boldly and surely, where we see the few supreme ones enthroned. He is to me like a son of the gods, playing with Jupiter’s thunder, and also occasionally handling it […]

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The creative process

Bernstein on composing

“There is something very satisfying about composing…you are letting yourself go, you write in a kind of trance, feeling you are doing very well. The next day you are quite capable of seeing that it wasn’t all that good, but that doesn’t matter so much.” Leonard Bernstein, 1971 Cited at: Leonard Bernstein (@LennyBernstein) “There’s something […]

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Performers and performances

Karajan and direction

Seiji Ozawa recalls Karajan’s overarching concept of music: I really shouldn’t start comparing Karajan and Bernstein. I’m thinking of the word “direction” – the direction of the music. In Maestro Karajan’s case, he had it from birth – the ability to make long phrases. It was something he taught us, the ones who studied with […]

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Instruments

Liszt on the piano

In its span of seven octaves [the piano] embraces the range of an orchestra; the ten fingers of a single man suffice to render the harmonies produced by the combined forces of more than 100 concerted instruments. We make arpeggios like the harp, prolonged notes like wind instruments, staccatos, and a thousand other effects which […]

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The experience of art

The line and the harmony

Phrases have their own topography—they move forward with the line but also remain wedded to the ground with each change of harmony, and this is where the battle lies, why each piece of music grapples with its own destructive potential, why beauty is never what it appears to be. — Simon Tedeschi S. Tedeschi, Fugitive, […]

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The creative process

Art is an immense forest

In the world, in life, and in nature, there is nothing but beautiful tales, and when the door opens, enter and accept it with all your soul. Art is an immense, eternal forest, where the trees stand as sparsely or as densely as you wish. The moon, sun and all kinds of glittering stars move […]

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Composers quotes

Hans Zimmer on the musical experience

Everybody tells you that the youth of today, whoever they are, have a short attention span, and you can’t give them anything decent. That’s complete crap. The youth of today, just like anyone else, like a good story and want to be transported, and to have an experience. They don’t want to be bored, so […]

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Composers quotes

Hans Zimmer on writing pop songs

Ask him to write a song, though, and he’ll likely turn you down on the basis that he has a problem with “any form of authority, and the authority that is put upon you of writing a song”. “Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle eight…” he says. “It’s always the same bloody structure. I end up […]

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The experience of art

The need for books

We wouldn’t need books quite so much if everyone around us understood us well. But they don’t. Even those who love us get us wrong. They tell us who we are but miss things out. They claim to know what we need, but forget to ask us properly first. They can’t understand what we feel […]

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Performers

The role of an interpreter

The interpreter is really an executant, carrying out the composer’s intentions to the letter. He doesn’t add anything that isn’t already in the work. If he is talented, he allows us to glimpse the truth of the work that is in itself a thing of genius and that is reflected in him. He shouldn’t dominate […]