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Site last updated
26 June, 2013

Richard Strauss
Quotations



"It is in learning music that many youthful hearts learn to love."
 
"Never look at the trombones. You'll only encourage them."
- On conducting
 
"I work very long on melodies. The important thing is not the beginning of the melody but its continuation, its development into a fully completed artistic form. "
 
"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 counterplot, 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. "
 
"Next time I shall write a Mozart opera."
- After the first performance of Elektra.
 
"Gentlemen, there are no difficulties or problems. This opera is a scherzo with a fatal conclusion!"
- to the orchestra at the first rehearsal of Salome.
 
"Isn't this awfully long?"
- 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"
- after trying to conduct a rehearsal of Elektra
 
"Here rests the honourable and virtuous youth Guntram, singer of love songs who by the symphonic orchestra of his own father was cruelly stricken down. Rest in Peace."
 
"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."
 
"What I'd like best of all, time and again, would be to set myself to music."
 
"I am not blessed with long melodies as Mozart was, I only get as far as short themes."
 
"The aria, after all, is the soul of opera."
 
"Don't perspire while conducting - only the audience should get warm."
 
"...where does the kitsch end and the opera begin?"
 
"When I make my way up there [heaven], I hope they'll forgive me if I bring this along too."
- while holding the score to Die Liebe der Danae after the final dress rehearsal
 
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