Peter Farnbank, Composer .

 Favourite Quotes by Musicians and about Music


OK, I'll return to this page to give the references (a la Havard) to the following quotes if public opinion demands it. Or...., if you can supply them (or add to the list) I'd be delighted if you could email me. Some of them will be humorous, some ironic and others inspiring. But just to get going, for now I'll just quote what I remember, and please forgive the fact that some of the quotes are not verbatim.

So, here goes...

Arnold Schoenberg (originator of 12-tone music) - I think there is a possibility to learn something of my technical achievement, but I think it is even better to go back to those men from whom I learnt … Mozart, Beethoven, Bach ... 

Andre Previn (pianist, conductor, composer) - Winning second prize in a piano competition is truly unnerving. If you win first prize, that says you're good, and third prize means forget it. But second prize - you're not sure whether to give up or try harder.

Maxim Vengerov (virtuoso violinist/violist) - Playing the violin is like driving a sexy sports car. Playing the viola is like driving a ten ton truck! (A British Sunday newspaper magazine 2007?)

John Cage (pioneering composer) - I'm becoming less and less interested in music

Bruce Johnston ("The Beach Boys" 60's pop group) -  "I've been alive forever, and I wrote the very first song. I put the words and the melodies together. I am music and I write the songs." (Lyrics from the song "I write the Songs")

Geoffrey Boulton-Smith (composer, academic, choirmaster) - "Alright, gentlemen, the "Deo" is fine now - lovely. Now ladies, on your "gracias" I really want much more volume on the "aaaas" !" (The choir broke down in hysterics, and Geoffrey being a "proper gent" just blushed behind his ever-famous smile.)

Cath Bird (soprano) on the occasion of a choir practice when the conductor lost his footing and sat onto the piano keyboard behind him, "Well, that was a bum note!" 

Prof J Murray Brown (music academic) in a jocose lofty tone (and a wonderful Scottish accent) - "Err... leave analysis to the musicologists, my boy, you just keep composing, and er.. psst (lowering his voice to a whisper) while you're at it, stick in a few impossibles just to keep them guessing!" (Personal anecdote, Durham Univ summer school 1981)

Andre Previn: "You're playing all the wrong notes!" Eric Morecambe (comedian): "I'm playing all the right notes - but not necessarily in the right order!" (The Morecambe and Wise Show 1971)






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