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"Conductors must give unmistakable and suggestive signals to the orchestra—not choreography to the audience."
"I function as a channel from which music emerges from the chaos of noise."
"I never learned to verbalize an abstract musical concept. No thank you. The whole point of being a serious musician is to avoid verbalization whenever you can."
Virgil Thomson, composer and music critic
"I thought of myself as a species of knight errant attacking dragons single-handedly and rescuing musical virtue in distress."
"Music conveys moods and images. Even in opera, where plots deal with the structure of destiny, it's music, not words, that provides power."
"Too many composers become involved in intellectual speculation which seems to matter more to them than the sound that comes out of all this speculation."
"Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end."
"Wagner's music is better than it sounds."
"When she started to play, Steinway came down personally and rubbed his name off the piano."
"[Eileen] Farrell has a voice like some unparalleled phenomenon of nature. She is to singers what Niagara is to waterfalls."
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