"You can use as much pedal as you like in Beethoven as long as no one
knows you're using the pedal."
(Bruce Hungerford, 1922-1977, brilliant pianist, and one of my teachers.)
On the significance of the new millennium when the year 2000 occurred: "It's
huge and it's nothing."
(Robert Wolfson, structural engineer and part-time philosopher.)
Student A, upon hearing he should switch gears as we turned to a different piece, and that he should "delete" the old one from his thoughts and "download" the new one: "And what if there's a virus?"
"My father also had a high opinion of Spohr."
(Karl Ulrich Schnabel, 1909-2001, pianist, speaking about Artur Schnabel's thoughts on a composer whose piano sonata was first recorded by me.)
"James Monroe is ruining my life!"
(Brother of a student, engaged in writing a paper on the fifth president.)
"Ah! Aortic stenosis!"
(A physician student, upon learning of the crescendo-diminuendo effect.)
"Keep your fingers close to the keys."
(Robert Goldsand, 1911-1991, another of my teachers, and a fine pianist whose attack of the keys invariably came from on high.)
"He must have been drunk when he wrote that!"
(Student B, about an oddity in a Schumann work.)
"Flowers turn toward the light and grow. Owls avoid it and sleep. We
are part flower, part owl."
(Abraham Joshua Heschel, 1907-1972, rabbi and philosopher, from the book "A Passion For Truth.")
"I only have so much captivity!"
(Student C, upon being asked to count carefully and do the correct dynamic shading at the same time.)
"Who is moderoto?"
"The man who has learned to use his eyes will never ask himself: 'Is
life worth living?' It is a question that does not even arise for him. He
knows from the evidence of his eyes that the natural world is so wonderful,
intricate, beautiful, and strange that he is never going to exhaust its interest."
(Ross Parmenter, 1912-1999, writer, and philosopher, from the book "The Awakened Eye.")
"I read that when children study music it opens their minds, and they're
less likely to do drugs."
(10 year old Student E.)
"I hear you, and I hear me!"
(Composer Louis Pelosi, reacting to my performance of his music.)
"And now up steps his opponent!"
(Student F, on being asked to select one new piece to learn, versus another.)
"It is not that music is not specific enough to express thoughts compared
to words, but the other way around."
(Robert Schumann, 1810-1856.)
Asked if he was lying when he played Beethoven or when he composed very different,
modern music: "Don't worry; I'm lying both times!"
(Artur Schnabel, 1882-1951, great pianist and significant composer.)
"I was so excited by that music I was electrocuted!"
(Student G, from South America.)
"I love classical music, especially die walker!" Die Walker?? The
record label indicated "Die Walküre."
"Did I just think the thought I thought, or did I not think the thought
I thought I thought?
(Student C, incipient philosopher.)