music

"The piece dies a natural death. It dies of old age."

"I find that as the piece gets longer, there has to be less material. That the piece itself, strangely enough, cannot take it. It has nothing to do with my patience. I don't know, my patience, how far it goes, you know. And I don't think about what your patience would be. I don't know that. In other words, I don't have a kind of psychological situation. Let's put it this way. I don't have an anxiety that I've got to stop. But there's less going into it, so I think the piece dies a natural death. It dies of old age."

Morton Feldman (Selected Interviews and Lectures, 1964-1987)

Richter's "glacial" Schubert tempi

"Nobody played Schubert like Richter. I could bring up any number of felicities—his sense of narrative and structure, his exquisite touch, the attention he paid to the most innocuous detail, the way his interpretations of the standard repertoire seemed at once controlled and improvisatory—but when I think of Richter’s Schubert, one thing comes to mind first: tempo. Slow tempos, glacial tempos, tempos that make no sense on paper, but that, when heard, transport the interpretations into visionary terrain."

On Leonard Bernstein: "Do we love him or do we want to kick him in the ass?"

Robert Gottlieb in the New York Review: "There’s the Lenny problem: Is he for real or is he an act? Do we love him or do we want to kick him in the ass? Is his heart only on his sleeve, or is there another one inside him? And do those of us who grew up with him in all his avatars respond to him the same way as those coming to him for the first time, with no history and perhaps no expectations?"