I said to my friends that if I was going to starve, I might as well starve where the food is good.
In Paris, you learn wit, in London you learn to crush your social rivals, and in Florence you learn poise.
I seem to write an opera about every 20 years; if you live long enough you can write four operas. I finished my third in 1970.
Let your mind alone, and see what happens.
Try a thing you haven't done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.
I listened to the pure crystalline notes of one of Mozart's concertos dropping at my feet like leaves from the trees.
I've never known a musician who regretted being one. Music itself is not going to let you down.
The way to write American music is simple. All you have to do is be an American and then write any kind of music you wish.
A libretto that should never have been accepted on a subject that should never have been chosen bya man who should never have attempted it.
Reviewing music or reviewing anything is a writing job. It's nice if you are experienced in the field you are writing about, but writing is what you are doing.
I got myself into a lovely little shall we say controversy with André Breton, by pointing out that the discipline of spontaneity, which he was asking his surrealist neophytes to adopt, was new for language but something that composers had been practicing for centuries.
I never learned to verbalize an abstract musical concept. No thank you. The whole point of being a serious musician is to avoid verbalization whenever you can.
Every composer's music reflects in its subject-matter and in its style the source of the money the composer is living on while writing the music.
I don't care what other critics say, I only hope to be played.
The description and explanation is the best part of music reviewing. There is such a thing, and you know it too, as a gift for judgment. If you have it, you can say anything you like. If you haven't got it, you don't know you haven't got it.
Musicians own music because music owns them.
Verbal communication about music is impossible except among musicians.
Whatever deceptions life may have in store for you, music itself is not going to let you down.
I don't go around regretting things that don't happen.
You explain how it went, and as far as you can figure out how it got that way.
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