The only love affair I have ever had was with music.
Music, I feel, must be emotional first and intellectual second.
I did my work slowly, drop by drop. I tore it out of me by pieces.
We should always remember that sensitiveness and emotion constitute the real content of a work of art
I begin by considering an effect.
I do not ask for my music to be interpreted, but only for it to be played.
If he'd been making shell-cases during the war it might have been better for music.
You might lose your spontaneity and, instead of composing first-rate Gershwin, end up with second rate Ravel.
To George Gershwin, on refusinghim as a pupil: You would only lose the spontaneous quality of your melody, and end by writing bad Ravel.
For Debussy the musician and the man I have had profound admiration, but by nature I'm different from him. I think I have always personally followed a direction opposed to that of the symbolism of Debussy.
Why become a second-rate Ravel when you're already a first-rate Gershwin?
My intention here is to make it clear that not a single cell of my composition, here in regard to The Raven, is found by chance or intuition, that the composition moved towards perfection with the precision and inevitability of a mathematical equation.
Tell me that not everything I wrote was bad.
Does it not occur to people that I might be artificial by nature?
I am not one of the great composers. All the great have produced enormously. There is everything in their work - the best and the worst, but there is always quantity. But I have written relatively little.
Remember that I wrote a pavane for a dead princess, and not a dead pavane for a princess!
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