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Mahler Quotes


"You should never trust anyone who listens to Mahler before they're forty." - Clive James

"I like to sing to Verdi, I like singing to Sibelius, and Mahler maybe." - Rufus Wainwright

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

"I have always adored Mahler, and Mahler was a major influence on the music of the Beatles. John and me used to sit and do the Kindertotenlieder and Wunderhorn for hours, we'd take turns singing and playing the piano. We thought Mahler was gear." - Paul Mccartney

"I cannot work and listen to Wagner at the same time, nor Mahler, nor Beethoven's late quartets. I enjoy listening to Chopin's piano music when I work." - I. M. Pei

"I cannot listen to Beethoven or Mahler or Chopin or Bach when I write because those composers require you stop what you are doing and listen." - Antonio Damasio

"I like the way Mahler wandered about in his music and still retained his passion. He must have looked like an earthquake walking down the street." - Charles Bukowski

"Although, I am proud of all my Symphonies as they all have something special to say, my particular favourite is the Fifth. As the great Mahler expert Donald Mitchell said that if Mahler had written another Symphony, it would have been my Fifth!" - Malcolm Arnold

"For me to rehearse with a children's orchestra a Mahler symphony was to really work. We had three or four weeks of rehearsal with the orchestra, every day eight or nine hours, putting the First together. I had been conducting Tchaikovsky a lot and Beethoven, but Mahler was different." - Gustavo Dudamel

"A Haydn symphony had a meaning for the social group that listened to it. A Mahler symphony had a meaning for the man who composed it. Here is the difference between the classical and romantic attitudes to art." - Anthony Burgess

"We know that he gave Aschenbach Mahler's first name, and also his facial features. So Visconti picks up on something interesting. That led me to think about ways of developing further the Aschenbach-Mahler connection." - Philip Kitcher

"I didn't know that Mahler would come to play so large a role, nor that music and literature and philosophy can interinanimate one another in the way I've come to think they do in this case." - Philip Kitcher

"Schopenhauer's thought that Will is insatiable, that once satisfied in one form it must be expressed in new desires, is inherited both by Mann and by Aschenbach (it's in Mahler, as well). So life is inevitably incomplete." - Philip Kitcher

"Perhaps, once I am gone, the one thing I might be remembered for is having sung a great deal of Mahler with a great many phenomenal conductors. It is wonderful music, very spiritual." - Maureen Forrester

"My favorite composers are the ones that tell the story. I love Wagner. I love Mahler. Prokofiev. The programmatic music. I listen more to classic rock because I don't like the contemporary music very much." - Patti Lupone

"I have enjoyed most particularly reading the correspondence between Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. The genuine friendship, competitiveness and support that thread through their communications are life lessons for us all." - Jessye Norman

"Mahler wrote it as the third movement of his Fourth Symphony. I mean the fourth movement of his First Symphony. We play it third. The trumpet solo will be played by our solo trumpet player. It's named 'Blumine,' which has something to do with flowers." - Eugene Ormandy

"Britten's opera tends to see things in simpler terms. It portrays an Aschenbach who wants a richer form of sexual fulfillment, and who is hemmed in by the social conventions to which he subscribes. But Visconti's use of the Mahler Adagietto is perfect for what I take to be Aschenbach's sexual desire." - Philip Kitcher

"I don't like to hurry. I'm not a conductor of the fast, fiery romantic type. I prefer Bruckner, with the sincerity of his musical language and the huge time spans in which his ideas develop, to Mahler, with his hysteria and self-indulgence." - Jeffrey Tate

"I love to read different books on completely different subjects at the same time. I cannot focus on one. I read a few pages of literature, then I jump to philosophy and at the same time I'm reading biographies of Mahler." - Gustavo Dudamel

"Presenting Aschenbach as a composer - based on Mahler - leads to some dreadful scenes (especially those in which Aschenbach is berated by his student), and it surely distorts the character Mann created. Yet, we know that Mann's novella was based on a holiday in Venice he took with his wife and brother, and that while he was there he followed the reports in the German newspapers, describing the dying Mahler's progress as he returned from New York to Vienna." - Philip Kitcher

"Every spring I hear the thrush singing in the glowing woods he is only passing through. His voice is deep, then he lifts it until it seems to fall from the sky. I am thrilled. I am grateful. Then, by the end of morning, he's gone, nothing but silence out of the tree where he rested for a night. And this I find acceptable. Not enough is a poor life. But too much is, well, too much. Imagine Verdi or Mahler every day, all day. It would exhaust anyone." - Mary Oliver

"It is time to remind Sharon that the star of David belongs to all Jews, not to his repulsive Government. His actions are staining the star of David with blood. The Jewish people, whose gifts to civilised discourse include Einstein and Epstein, Mendelssohn and Mahler, Sergei Eisenstein and Billy Wilder, are now symbolised throughout the world by the blustering bully Ariel Sharon, a war criminal implicated in the murder of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila camps and now involved in killing Palestinians once again." - Gerald Kaufman