Thursday, May 31, 2012

Humorous Musical Quotations


"You want something by Bach? 
Which one, Johann Sebastian or Jacques Offen?"
Victor Borge (b. 1909), Danish-born American musical humorist

"There's no reason we can't be friends. 
We both play Bach. You in your way, I in his."
Wanda  Landawska  (1877-1959),  Polish concert keyboardist, to a rival (attr.)

A quarter note walks into a bar.
He sees a dotted half note and says to her:
"Baby, you make me whole"

"There is a lot of bad music in every age, 
and there is no reason why this one should be an exception."
 Harold C. Schonberg (b. 1915), American music critic, 
in the New York Times (March 26, 1961)

"Of course the music is a great difficulty. 
You see, if one plays good music, people don't listen, 
and if one plays bad music, people don't talk."
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish playwright and novelist

"There are more bad musicians than there is bad music."
 Isaac  Stern (b. 1920), Russian-born  American  violinist

"When  a  piece  gets  difficult,  make faces"
Artur  Schnabel (1882-1951),  Austrian  pianist, 

 giving  advice  to  fellow  pianist  Vladimir  Horowitz


"Flint  must  be  an  extremely  wealthy  town:
 I  see  that  each  of  you  bought  two  or  three  seats."
Victor  Borge (b. 1909),  Danish-born  American  musical  humorist,  

speaking  to  a  half-full  house  in  Flint, Michigan.

Furtwangler  was  once told in  Berlin  that  the  people  in  the  back  seats  were  complaining  
that  they  could  not  hear some of   his  soft  passages.
 ''It   does  not  matter,'' He  said, "they  do  not  pay  so  much."
Neville  Cardus,  British  music  critic, in  The  Manchester  Guardian  (1935)

"If   there  is  anyone  here  whom  I  have  not  insulted, I  beg  his  pardon."
Johannes  Brahms (1833-97),  German  composer,  on  leaving  a  party  of  friends.

When  I  was  young,  people  used  to  say  to  me: 

"Wait  until  you're  fifty,  you'll  see.... I  am  fifty. I  haven't  seen  anything."
Erik  Satie  (1866-1925),  French  composer.

"My  music  is  not  modern,  it  is  only  badly  played."
Arnold  Schoenberg  (1874-1951),  Austrian-born  American  composer.

"In  order  to  compose, 
 all  you  need  to  do  is  remember  a  tune  that  nobody  else  has  thought  of."
Robert  Schumann  (1810-1856),  German  composer.

"That's  the  worst  of  my  reputation  as  a  modern  composer. 
Everyone  must  have  thought  I  meant  it." 
Igor  Stravinsky  (1882-1971),  Russian-born  American  composer, 
 on  a  misprint  in  one  of  his  scores.

"Ah,  Mozart!  He  was  happily  married  but  his  wife  wasn't."
 Victor  Borge  (b. 1909),  Danish-born  American  musical  humorist

"Rossini  would  have  been  a  great  composer  ,
if  his  teacher  had  spanked  him  enough  on  his  backside." 
Ludwig  van  Beethoven (1770-1827),  German  composer.

"[Stravinsky's  music  is]  Bach  on  the  wrong  notes."
 Sergei  Prokofiev  (1891-1953),  Russian  composer.

"Can't  you  read?  
The  score  demands  con  amore,  and  what  are  you  doing? 
You  are  playing  it  like  married  men!"
Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957),  Italian  conductor,  to  an  orchestra.

" I  always  make  sure  that  the  lid  over  the  keyboard  is  open  before  I  start  to  play."
Artur  Schnabel (1882-1951),  Austrian  pianist,  

asked  the  secret  of  piano  playing.

"When  she  started  to  play,  
Steinway  himself  came  down  personally  and  rubbed  his  name  off  the  piano."
Bob  Hope  (b. 1903),  American  comedian

"I  never  practice,  I  always  play."
Wanda  Landawska  (1877-1959),  Polish  concert  pianist.

"I'm  a  concert  pianist. 

That's  a  pretentious  way of  saying:  I'm  unemployed  at  the  moment."
Oscar  Levant  (1906-72),  American  actor, composer  and  pianist,  in  An  American  in  Paris  (1951). 


A pianist and singer are rehearsing "AUTUMN LEAVES"
for a concert and the pianist says:

"OK. We will start in G minor and then on the third bar,
modulate to B major and go into 5/4.
When you get to the bridge,
modulate back down to F# minor
and alternate a 4/4 bar with a 7/4 bar.
On the last A section go into double time
and slowly modulate back to G minor."

The singer says: "Wow, I don't think I can remember all of that."
The pianist says: "Well, that's what you did last time."

Q: "If you were locked in a room with only a piano,
how would you get out?"
A: "Play the piano until you find the right key."


Q: Why was the piano player arrested?
A: Because he got into treble.

"Time  is  a  great  teacher,  but  unfortunately  it  kills  all  its  pupils."
Hector  Berlioz  (1803-69),  French  composer.


"You  see,  our  fingers  are  circumcised, 
which  gives  it  a  very  good  dexterity,  you  know,  particularly  the  pinky."
Itzhak  Perlman (b. 1945),  Israeli  violinist,  

replying  to  a  comment  that  so  many  great  violinists  are  Jewish.