Quotes


  • A person of any mental quality has ideas of his own. This is common sense.


  • A theatre receives recognition through its initiative, which is indispensable for first-rate performances.


  • As the mother teaches her children how to express themselves in their language, so one Gypsy musician teaches the other. They have never shown any need for notation.


  • Beware of missing chances; otherwise it may be altogether too late someday.


  • Brahms’ Variations are better than mine, but mine were written before his.


  • Broad paths are open to every endeavour, and a sympathetic recognition is assured to every one who consecrates his art to the divine services of a conviction of a consciousness.


  • Companions, in misery and worse, that is what we all are, and to try to change this substantially avails us nothing.


  • Life is only a long and bitter suicide, and faith alone can transform this suicide into a sacrifice.


  • Mournful and yet grand is the destiny of the artist.


  • Music embodies feeling without forcing it to contend and combine with thought, as it is forced in most arts and especially in the art of words.


  • I conclude that the Wagnerian operas which are already in the repertoire, and other master works as well, stand in no further need of my services.


  • I did not compose my work as one might put on a church vestment… rather it sprung from the truly fervent faith of my heart, such as I have felt it since my childhood.


  • I find little in the works of Beethoven, Berlioz, Wagner and others when they are led by a conductor who functions like a windmill.


  • I foster a sorrowful conception of affection. Make no sacrifices.


  • In Hungary all native music, in its origin, is divided naturally into melody destined for song or melody for the dance.


  • Inspiration is enough to give expression to the tone in singing, especially when the song is without words.


  • It is impossible to imagine a more complete fusion with nature than that of the Gypsy.


  • It is my fervent wish and my greatest ambition to leave a work with a few useful instructions for the pianists after me.


  • Real men are sadly lacking in this world, for when they are put to the test they prove worthless.


  • Sorrowful and great is the artist’s destiny.


  • Supreme serenity still remains the Ideal of great Art. The shapes and transitory forms of life are but stages toward this Ideal, which Christ’s religion illuminates with His divine light.


  • The character of instrumental music… lets the emotions radiate and shine in their own character without presuming to display them as real or imaginary representations.


  • The music of the Gypsies belongs in the sphere of improvisation rather than in any other, without which it would have no power to exist.


  • The principal task of a conductor is not to put himself in evidence but to disappear behind his functions as much as possible. We are pilots, not servants.


  • The public is always good.


  • Truth is a great flirt.


  • We need improvement in the style of performance. There is no more advantage in a musician who plays and conducts than in one who is only a beater of rhythm.


  • Without any assistance whatever, I founded a school in Weimar in 10 years. Only I could perform certain works with the scanty means that I dared not ask anyone else to work with.