Mozart gives us the promise of being greeted in Heaven by voices similar to his.
( Samuel Johnson )

Berlioz says nothing in his music, but he says it magnificently.
( James Gibbons Hunekar )

I find in them a world of peace amid the turmoil of human strife.
( Albert Schweitzer, on the Well-Tempered Clavier )
Bach played with his themes like a jolly juggler,
throwing them into the air, turning them inside out,
tumbling them upside down, then setting them soundly on their feet again.
Notes and themes were not only his meat and drink and atmosphere,
they were also his relaxation and his holidays.
( Will Durant )

What he demanded of society was the wherewithal to work unhindered,
and he demanded it as a right, knowing how much he had to give in return.
( Alfred Einstein, on Beethoven )

This wonderful young artist [Debussy] who honors me with his friendship,
is the greatest and noblest and will one day be the most famous of all.
You shall see.
( Edmond Bailly, bookseller in Paris )

There are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice
from any man.  One of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem.
( George Bernard Shaw )

His style and compositions are unduly conservative.
As the best musicians are not available,
we must take a man of moderate ability.
( One Leipzig municipal council member, on Bach
who was a candidate for the cantor of the Thomasschule )

Bach’s works are the Reformation set to music.
( Will Durant )

Stravinsky’s Symphony for Wind Instruments written in memory of Debussy
was greeted with cheers, hisses, and laughter.
I had no idea Stravinsky disliked Debussy so much.
( Ernest Newman )

He [Beethoven] first fills the soul with sweet melancholy
and then shatters it by a mass of barbarous chords.
He seems to harbor together doves and crocodiles.
( Paris Music Critic )

Moussorgsky is one of the most flagrant examples of mental chaos to which
our intelligentsia has been reduced by our incompetent schooling.
( Hermann Laroche )

Some cry up Haydn, some Mozart,
Just as the whim bites.  For my part,
I do not care a farthing candle
For either of them, or for Handel.
( Charles Lamb )

Ravel’s Bolero is the most insolent monstrosity
ever perpetrated in the history of music.
( Edward Robinson )

 Bach opens a vista to the universe.  After experiencing him,
people feel there is meaning to life after all.
( Helmut Walcha )

He is the master of the notes; others are mastered by them.
( Martin Luther,on Josquin des Prez )

Never has the natural strife between homophony and polyphony,
between melody and counterpoint, been more completely satisfied.
( Alfred Einstein, on Mozart )

Mozart was somewhat of a prude.
( James Donelan )

Stravinsky is entirely unable to formulate a musical idea of his own.
( Rutland Boughtland )

[Richard] Strauss uses music as the vehicle
of expressing everything but music; for he has little invention,
and his musical thoughts are of little worth.
( Philip Hale )

An utterly untamed creature.
( Goethe, on Beethoven )

The great artist was rooted in a great man.
( Alfred Einstein, on Beethoven )

The Stravinsky music is a drab, rasping, tired shuffle and breakdown.
( Paul Rosenfeld )

Liszt is a commonplace person, with his hair on end – a snob out of Bedlam.
He writes the ugliest music extant.
( London Music Critic )

Turn your eyes away from any one composition that bears the name of Liszt,
if you are unlucky enough to have such a thing on you pianoforte.
( London Music Critic )

To say that much of it [The Rite of Spring] is hideous as sound
is a mild description.
( London Music Critic )

I do not believe that a single composition of Wagner will survive him.
( Moritz Hauptman )

Wagner's music is better than it sounds.
( Mark Twain )

It [Lohengrin] is poison – rank poison.
( London Music Critic )

He masters the whole scale of human feeling: the soft, the tender,
the lyrical, the intense, the dramatic, the wild.
( Spaar Olsen, on Percy Grainger )

There were moments when the piano and orchestra made sounds
that evoked not only the downfall of empires, but also
of fine crockery, the fragments flying in all directions.
( James Gibbons Huneker, on Prokofiev’s First Piano Concerto )

You know Verdi’s musical system: there has not yet been an Italian
composer more incapable of producing what is commonly called a melody.
( Paris Critic )

(1) He should examine us!
If I knew one tenth of what he knows, I’d be happy!
(2) And we’re asked to test him?
Why, he knows more than all of us put together!
( Two judges – the second, Herbeck –
commenting on Bruckner’s final test of organ playing )

Verdi is a musician of decadence.  He has all its defects,
the violence of the style, the incoherence of ideas,
the crudity of colors, the impropriety of language.
( P. Scudo )


from  writers  and  other  thinkers

( and a few who weren’t thinking so well! )

main  QUOTES  pageQuotes.html
MAIN PAGEOpening_Page.html
main  QUOTES  pageQuotes.html
MAIN PAGEOpening_Page.html