Sunday, June 28, 2015

Richard Strauss Quotes

It's a funny thing, Alice, 
dying is just the way I composed it
in "Tod und Verklärung."
Richard Strauss to his daughter-in-law
as he lay on his deathbed in 1949
Never look at the trombones;
it only encourages them.
I may not be a first-rate composer,
but I am a first-class second-rate composer.
Richard Strauss
The human voice
is the most beautiful instrument of all,
but it is the most difficult to play.
Richard Strauss
I shall never be converted,
and I shall remain true
to my old religion
of the classics
until my life's end.
The most terrible period
of human history
is at an end,
the twelve year reign of bestiality, 
ignorance and anti-culture
under the greatest criminals,
during which Germany's 2000 years 
of cultural evolution
met its doom.
Of everything I have written,
it’s the songs I like best.
Richard Strauss
Where does the kitsch end
and the opera begin?
Richard Strauss
He'd be better off
shoveling snow.
Richard Strauss on Arnold Schoenberg,
the great innovator of the twelve-tone technique of composition
No one wants to quit when he's losing
and no one wants to quit when he's winning.
Richard Strauss
It is in learning music
that many youthful hearts
learn to love.
Richard Strauss
I work very long on melodies.
Richard Strauss
I have more skill,
but he is greater.
Richard Strauss about Sibelius
The important thing
is not the beginning of the melody
but its continuation, its development
into a fully completed artistic form.
Richard Strauss
In any narrative-epic,
dramatic, or musical-
every word or tone should be
like a soldier marching
towards the one, common, final goal;
conquest of the material.
The way the artist makes
every phrase of his story such a soldier,
serving to unfold it,
to support its structure and development,
to build plot and counter plot,
to distribute light and shade
to point incessantly
and lead up gradually
to the climax-
in short,
the way every fragment is impregnated
with its mission towards the whole,
makes up this delicate
and so essential objective
which we call FORM.
Richard Strauss
Next time
I shall write a Mozart opera.
Richard Strauss after the first performance of Elektra
there are no difficulties or problems.
This opera is a scherzo
with a fatal conclusion!
Richard Strauss-
to the orchestra at the first rehearsal of Salome.
"Isn't this awfully long?"
Richard Strauss said to the first violinist
while conducting a performance of his own Der Rosenkavalier.
I was able to compose it,
but I'm not able to conduct it yet.
Richard Strauss after trying to conduct a rehearsal of Elektra
Here rests the honorable
and virtuous youth Guntram,
singer of love songs
who by the symphonic orchestra
of his own father
was cruelly stricken down.
Rest in Peace.
Richard Strauss
I now comfort myself
with the knowledge
that I am on the road I want to take,
fully conscious
that there never has been an artist
not considered crazy
by thousands of his fellow men.
Richard Strauss
What I'd like best of all,
time and again,
would be to set myself to music.
Richard Strauss
I am not blessed
with long melodies
as Mozart was,
I only get as far
as short themes.
Richard Strauss
The aria, after all,
is the soul of opera.
Richard Strauss
Don't perspire while conducting -
only the audience should get warm.
Richard Strauss
When I make my way up there
I hope they'll forgive me
if I bring this along too.
Richard Strauss while holding the score to
Die Liebe der Danae after the final dress rehearsal
Richard Strauss:
This text was originally written
by Richard Strauss around 1922 as
"The Golden Rules
for the Album 
of a Young Conductor."
1. Remember that you are making music
not to amuse yourself,
but to delight your audience.
2. You should not perspire when conducting:
only the audience should get warm.
3. Conduct Salome and Elektra
as if they were Mendelssohn: Fairy Music.
4. Never look encouragingly at the brass,
except with a brief glance
to give an important cue.
5. But never let the horns and woodwinds
out of your sight.
If you can hear them at all
they are still too strong.
6. If you think that the brass
is now blowing hard enough,
tone it down another shade or two.
7. It is not enough that you yourself
should hear every word the soloist sings.
You should know it by heart anyway.
The audience must be able to follow without effort.
If they do not understand the words
they will go to sleep.
8. Always accompany the singer
in such a way that he can sing without effort.
9. When you think you have reached
the limits of prestissimo,
double the pace.
10. If you follow these rules carefully you will,
with your fine gifts and your great accomplishments,
always be the darling of your listeners.
"Dr. Richard Strauss, conductor."
entry in the telephone book of Garmisch,
Germany before World War II
Richard Strauss
would never have become a great man
without [his wife] Pauline.
Manfred Mautner-Markhof
Till Eulenspiegel is a noisy,
heavy piece of work,
crude in color,
confusing in design,
and utterly unlovable.
Boston Gazette, 1896
Till Eulenspiegel
casts into the deepest shade
the wildest efforts
of the wildest follower
 of the modern school.
It is a blood-curdling nightmare.
Boston Herald, 1896
If Don Quixote is no music,
it may possibly be something else –
a big, huge, monumental, colossal joke,
a joke of such magnitude
as only a master and a genius
like Strauss is able to perpetrate.
I can see him chuckling
over his morning chocolate
as he reads learned essays 
upon the unaesthetic noises
made by the herd
of bleating mutton.
Musical Courier, 1898
The greatest musical figure
who has lived in this century.
Glenn Gould describing Strauss in 1962
One of the most
authoritative geniuses
of our era.
Claude Debussy
The man
who wrote this
outrageously hideous noise
[Ein Heldenleben],
no longer deserving
of the word music,
is either lunatic,
or he is rapidly
approaching idiocy.
Musical Courier, 1899
Salome is a detailed and explicit exposition
of the most horrible, disgusting, revolting
and unmentionable features of degeneracy
that I have ever heard, read of, or imagined.
Letter to the editor, New York Times, 1907
His Majesty does not know
what the band has just played,
but it is never to be played again.
(on Richard Strauss' 'Elektra')
King George V