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Composers quotes

The importance of melody

I have never questioned the importance of melody. I love melody, and I regard it as the most important element in music. I have worked on the improvement of its quality in my compositions for many years. To find a melody instantly understandable even to the uninitiated listener, and at the same time an original […]

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Composers quotes

Debussy improvising

Debussy would sit himself down without speaking at the piano of the little study-cum-library and start to improvise. Anyone who knew him can remember what it was like. He would start by brushing the keys, prodding the odd one here and there, making a pass over them and then he would sink into velvet, sometimes […]

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Composers quotes

The artist’s soul

There is, behind the soul and the whole life of the artist, perhaps a suffering soul … The moment one day will come in which perhaps yourself – if you possess a soul as I wish to believe – you will be able to see through feeling without any explanation. – Dimitri Mitropoulos to Leonard […]

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Composers quotes

Music in the very heart of noise

I frequently hear music in the very heart of noise. — George Gerswhin Goldberg, Isaac, and Garson, Edith. George Gershwin: A Study in American Music. United Kingdom, F. Ungar Publishing Company, 1958, p.139.

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Composers quotes

Saint-Saëns on composing

“I produce music as an apple tree produces apples.” — Camille Saint-Saëns Musical Heritage Review. Musical Heritage Society, volume 1, issues 13-18, p.47.

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Composers quotes

Saint-Saëns on the art of music

The artist who does not feel completely satisfied by elegant lines, by harmonious colours, and by a beautiful succession of chords does not understand the art of music. — Camille Saint-Saëns Cited in Milton Cross David Ewan, Encyclopedia of Great Composers and Their Music, volume 2. Double Day, 1969, p.819.

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Composers quotes

The meaning of American Pie

When questioned about the meaning of American Pie, Don McLean would quip. “It means I’ll never have to work again.” Rob Walker, “Don McLean on the tragedy behind American Pie: ‘I cried for two years’”, The Guardian, 22 October 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/oct/22/don-mclean-american-pie-its-meaning-family-deaths-tragedy-60s?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other

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Composers quotes

Jan Lisiecki on Chopin

Schumann described Chopin’s works as “cannons buried in flowers”.  Contained in Chopin’s music are painful moments, suffering, longing and much drama. Similarly to Mozart, the external impression may be one of pure beauty, elegance, exuberance or joy but, deep down, there is something else entirely, a sort of imprecise discomfort, a certain malaise. The contrast […]

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Composers quotes

Einstein on Mozart

Einstein wrote that Mozart’s music “was so pure that it seemed to have been ever-present in the universe, waiting to be discovered by the master.” Lyth, David (2019) The Road to Einstein’s Relativity. Boca Ranton: CRC Press, p.131.

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Composers quotes

Saint-Saens on Bach and Mozart

“What gives Sebastian Bach and Mozart a place apart is that these two great expressive composers never sacrificed form to expression. As high as their expression may soar, their musical form remains supreme and all-sufficient.” – Camille Saint-Saëns, from a letter to Camille Bellaigue, 1907 Cited in: Fisk, Josiah (ed.) (1997) Composers On Music: Eight […]