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If a composer could say what he had to say in words
by Gustav Mahler

If a composer could say what he had to say in words
he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Gustav Mahler

Related topics: Music

The real art of conducting consists in transitions.
- Gustav Mahler

The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding
star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly,
neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause.
- Gustav Mahler

I have become a different person.
I don't know whether this person is better,
he certainly is not happier.
- Gustav Mahler

 

In the theatrical works we love and admire the most,
the ending of the drama generally takes place offstage.
- Gustav Mahler

When I have reached a summit, I leave it with great reluctance,
unless it is to reach for another, higher one.
- Gustav Mahler

Destiny smiles upon me but without making me the least bit happier.
- Gustav Mahler

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In its beginnings, music was merely chamber music,
meant to be listened to in a small space by a small audience.
- Gustav Mahler

I am hitting my head against the walls,
but the walls are giving way.
- Gustav Mahler

Even if people censure me, they should do so hat in hand.
- Gustav Mahler

I was a crazy young man who let himself be blinded
by his passions and obeyed only the impulses of the moment.
- Gustav Mahler

Fortunately, something always remains to be harvested.
So let us not be idle.
- Gustav Mahler

I hope you will no longer accuse me of a lack of delicacy.
as I now count on your understanding.
- Gustav Mahler

It is strange how one feels drawn forward without knowing
at first where one is going.
- Gustav Mahler

If you think you're boring your audience,
go slower not faster.
- Gustav Mahler

Discipline, work.
Work, discipline.
- Gustav Mahler

To judge a composer's work, one must consider it as a whole.
- Gustav Mahler

Behind me the branches of a wasted and sterile existence are cracking.
- Gustav Mahler

Beauty and fullness of tone can be achieved by having
the whole orchestra play with high clarinets and a
carefully selected number of piccolos.
- Gustav Mahler

If I weren't the way I am, I shouldn't write my symphonies.
- Gustav Mahler

Melodic invention is one of the surest signs of a divine gift.
- Gustav Mahler

Spring won't let me stay in this house any longer!
I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.
- Gustav Mahler

I also had a brother who was like me a musician and a composer.
A man of great talent, far more gifted than I. He died very young...
he killed himself in the prime of his life.
- Gustav Mahler

It's not just a question of conquering a summit previously unknown,
but of tracing, step by step, a new pathway to it.
- Gustav Mahler

I beg of you...
never assume an inner or an outer pose,
never a disguise.
- Gustav Mahler

The impressions of the spriritual experiences gave
my future life its form and content.
- Gustav Mahler

An operetta is simply a small and gay opera.
- Gustav Mahler

The longer you live and the more you learn,
the more clearly you will feel the difference between
the few men who are truly great and the mere virtuosi.
- Gustav Mahler

A symphony must be like the world.
It must contain everything.
- Gustav Mahler

There is a world of difference between a Mahler eighth
note and a normal eighth note.
- Gustav Mahler

You must renounce all superficiality,
all convention, all vanity and delusion.
- Gustav Mahler

Don't bother looking at the view - I have already composed it.
- Gustav Mahler

It should be one's sole endeavor to see everything
afresh and create it anew.
- Gustav Mahler

I live like a Hottentot.
I cannot exchange one sensible word with anyone.
- Gustav Mahler

I don't let myself get carried away by my own ideas -
I abandon 19 out of 20 of them every day.
- Gustav Mahler

The spirit can assert itself only through the medium of clear form.
- Gustav Mahler

All that is not perfect down to the smallest detail is doomed to perish.
- Gustav Mahler

With the coming of spring, I am calm again.
- Gustav Mahler

The call of love sounds very hollow among these immobile rocks.
- Gustav Mahler

It is easier to achieve a desired result in short pieces.
- Gustav Mahler

Never let oneself be guided by the opinion of one's contemporaries.
Continue steadfastly on one's way.
- Gustav Mahler

The further the music develops, the more complex the
apparatus used by the composer to express his thoughts becomes.
- Gustav Mahler

What I wanted and what I visualized while composing
has not always been realized.
- Gustav Mahler

I am but an architectural composer.
- Alexander Jackson Davis

A composer knows that music is written by human beings
for human beings and that music is a continuation of life,
not something separated from it.
- Hanns Eisler

It's nice to have a great female composer in the program and add her color.
- Cecilia Bartoli

The difference between the student and the born composer
is he really hears the thing,
and they have to stage it and manipulate it by technical equipment.
- Leo Ornstein

Other, far fewer, directors are more like the composer -
conceptualizing the piece,
scoring it, distributing its musical lines among a range of registers,
chords, and instruments.
- Thomas Harrison

There is no doubt that the first requirement for a composer is to be dead.
- Arthur Honegger

To me, all writing is like music.
And especially dialogue.
I studied music in college; that is what I wanted to be,
a composer.
Acting got me sidetracked.
- Dirk Benedict

My dream was always to be a composer,
but fashion came very easily.
- Gianni Versace

Why should the composer be more guilty than the poet
who warms to fantasy by a strange flame,
making an idea that inspires him the subject of his
own very different treatment?
- Franz Schubert

I find respect for a mediocre British composer,
as opposed to a really good American,
ridiculous because they automatically respect a composer if he's from England.
- John Corigliano

I'm trying to interpret the film through the director's head,
but it all comes out through me.
So, a composer is kind of like a psychic medium.
- Danny Elfman

The thing about influence is that any composer worth
anything will give you the same names.
- Harrison Birtwistle

I dream of a collaboration that would finally be total,
in which the librettist would often think as a composer
and the composer as a librettist.
- Jacques Ibert

That is the way a great master carpenter feels,
or an architect or composer or anyone who creates anything -
people want to be appreciated for what they have done.
- David Amram

Any composer who is gloriously conscious that he is
a composer must believe that he receives his inspiration
from a source higher than himself.
- John Philip Sousa

I'm not an intellectual composer.
- Les Baxter

I'm not an architectural composer.
- Harrison Birtwistle

Any subject is good for opera if the composer feels
it so intently he must sing it out.
- Gian Carlo Menotti

Do you know that my very first experience as a composer
was a 'Concerto for Accordion?'
- Alfred Schnittke

I probably belong to a type of composer of songs who
keeps thinking about melody...
I am old fashioned.
- Toru Takemitsu

It doesn't necessarily mean at all that the composer
plays his own works best.
- Leo Ornstein

It's understanding the intention of a composer that
allows a producer and an arranger to make those moments speak.
- Michael Bolton

The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired,
but becomes inspired because he is working.
- Ernest Newman

Like any other composer of opera, I choose a subject
not for polemical reasons,
but because it contains vivid characters in highly
charged dramatic situations.
- Carlisle Floyd

I just have to take my chances like any other composer.
- Gordon Getty

You become a great composer when you win a Pulitzer.
But I think that now it's a completely meaningless award.
- John Corigliano

A composer is a guy who goes around forcing his will
on unsuspecting air molecules,
often with the assistance of unsuspecting musicians.
- Frank Zappa

I'm not interested in having an orchestra sound like itself.
I want it to sound like the composer.
- Leonard Bernstein


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