HumanitiesWeb.org - The Versatile Career of Charles Gounad [Quotations]
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Site last updated
26 June, 2013

Charles-François Gounod
Quotations



"Imagine handing over the work of one's brain and heart, confiding it to creatures who earn their living by tearing it to shreds for you, by degrading and dishonouring it! It is my child you are torturing, wretches...I give you one thing and it is another that you show to the public."
 
"Look, mon petit, I've bested you. Faust has made 20,000 francs this week and your Le Cid only 16,000...suicide's the only thing left for you now..."
- joking with his friend Massenet
 
"Ah, friend, not so fast! Look, let me turn the handle...This is the tempo and let me tell you, my good fellow, I wrote it."
- Said to a street organ-grinder playing Siebel's aria 'Faites-lui mes aveux' from Faust.
 
"Mozart is to Palestrina and Bach what the New Testament is to the Old in the spirit of the Bible, one and indivisible."
 
"My friend, you've a fine turn of speed - you'd have made a good conductor."
- to a cabbie who gave him a particularly good ride
 
"You only have time to clamber up a tree and hold on like grim death. Your hair is blown about, your face is streaked with blood, but when the storm dies off and recedes a little, you get down from your shelter, you shake yourself and you enjoy the pleasure of having escaped a great danger. The hurricane, my dear child, is Wagner or Wagnerism. It is a fearsome but it passes on. The important thing is not to let yourself be carried away..."
 
"Performance is a crucifixion"
 
"Yes...I've been the cause of many sins. Sometimes I feel remorse...Only occasionally, because...there are also many people who owe their happiness to it."
- on temptations his opera Faust may have caused others
 
"Bach is a colossus of Rhodes, beneath whom all musicians pass and will continue to pass. Mozart is the most beautiful, Rossini the most brilliant, but Bach is the most comprehensive: he has said all there is to say."
 
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