Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton): “She sat with her guitar on her knee,/ But she was not singing a note,/ For someone had drawn (ah, who could it be?)/ A knife across her throat.”
Ed Gardner: “Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and instead of bleeding he sings.”
Frederick the Great: “A German singer! I should as soon expect to get pleasure from the neighing of my horse.”
Muir notes that the Italian language, having no awkward diphthongs and virtually no final consonants, was peculiarly suitable for singing.
Edward Moore, Chicago Tribune, December 31, 1921: “The music of The Love for Three Oranges, I fear, is too much for this generation.. Mr. Prokofiev might well have loaded up a shotgun with several thousand notes of various lengths and discharged them against the side of a blank wall.”
Edward Colman Moore, 1877–1935, was an American writer, journalist, music critic, and composer. He believed that music should be treated as entertainment and not necessarily as intellectual uplift. He died of a heart attack on his way to a concert.
Arthur Honegger: “The public doesn’t want new music; the main thing it demands of a composer is that he be dead.”
Gioachino Antonio Rossini: “How wonderful opera would be if there were no singers.”
“Wagner has beautiful moments but awful quarter hours.”
“One can’t judge Wagner’s opera Lohengrin after a first hearing, and I certainly don’t intend hearing it a second time.”
Initially, I mistyped it as Lohengrim. Freudian? Thanks, Frank Muir, for your collection. ds
As noted by Slonimsky in his “Lexicon of Musical Invective,” one listener wrote: After “Lohengrin,” I had a splitting headache, and all through the night I dreamed about a goose.”
The quote from the Italian maestro explains why my lone Rossini album is just his overtures. But holy cow, do I love it.