All music has to speak in some form or other.
Within each individual young person you meet, you have the same fields to plough. The trick is just to wake them up, to sharpen their ears for what's already there in the music.
With creative people, truly new horizons open up.
The future? Like unwritten books and unborn children, you don't talk about it.
The work is the most important thing.
...in my lieder concerts, I always strove, when possible, to sing only the works of a single composer, so that the audience could be gradually drawn into a particular creative genius' way of thinking, and could follow him.
It is desirable that people make music on the breath, with the breath.
If you only do little clusters - three or four songs by one, and another, and then yet another - you lose the opportunity to think your way into the composer's mind, since, after all, most of these pieces are quite brief.
But, on the other hand, if Schubert were alive today, he would find even richer fields to plow.
Anyone who draws attention to himself as an individual, is viewed with suspicion. We acquired this tendency, of course, from America, and we must resist it: levelling, and imitation of what others are already doing.
And what unity is to be had, at a time when orchestras are dying out, and when opera houses are about to close their doors; what's going to come next - when nothing new in music, for the orchestra, is truly lasting: pieces are performed once, and then they're thrown away.
Admittedly, it is really our duty, as artists, to hold up a mirror to our own era; but, on the other hand, these works have lives of their own, and they're still alive today.
But the thing that will always occupy me the most is music.
One has to get through a big pile of mail every day. I don't pass my letters on to a secretary; rather, I try to take care of all of them myself.
The reason why Schubert is celebrated so much today, lies rather in the fact that there has been nobody else like him - not before him, not after him.
I came together with younger musicians and tried to pass on my own experiences. In the process, I always tried to maintain my curiosity and spontaneity.
The composition of a single melody is born out of a bit of text, perhaps the first line, but it can also be the entire strophe; it can even be the poem's overall form.
When you go out onto the stage, all the preparation has to be forced into your subconscious. For the moment of the performance, we all have to return to a new level of unconsciousness. All the reflection and all the doubts have to be laid aside before you start.
Brahms believed that there was no need to publish absolutely everything that Schubert ever wrote.
Some critics have written that I wanted to teach through singing. Not at all. I was learning I went to school every time I gave a song recital.
In Romanticism, the main determinant is the mood, the atmosphere. And in that regard, you could also describe Schubert as a Romantic.
What concerns me, is the general social tendency to enforce a level, above which nothing rises and stands out.
Unfortunately, it happens all too seldom that you really disappear behind a work, that you are no longer audible as an interpreter.
Toward the end of his life, one can sense that he was no longer thinking his way into the minds of others, causing them to speak on his behalf, but that he was now speaking for himself.
Particularly at around the age of 70 you reach a stage where you have to be very careful. If, at that point, you abandon the work you have been doing, there is a good chance that you will just collapse and drift.
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