quote by Dmitri Shostakovich

A great piece of music is beautiful regardless of how it is performed. Any prelude or fugue of Bach can be played at any tempo, with or without rhythmic nuances, and it will still be great music. That's how music should be written, so that no-one, no matter how philistine, can ruin it.

— Dmitri Shostakovich

Colorful Fugue quotations

The final, unfinished fugue from The Art of Fugue is the greatest piece of music ever composed.

The most uninteresting part of the biography of a composer is his childhood.

All those preludes are the same and the reader hurries on to the fugue.

What I like to do is treat words as a craftsman does his wood or stone or what-have-you, to hew, carve, mold, coil, polish, and plane them into patterns, sequences, sculptures, fugues of sound expressing some lyrical impulse, some spiritual doubt or conviction, some dimly realized truth I must try to reach and realize.

For the past eighty years I have started each day in the same manner.

.. I go to the piano, and I play preludes and fugues of Bach... It is a sort of benediction on the house.

If you want to be considered a poet, you will have to show mastery of the petrarchan sonnet form or the sestina. Your musical efforts must begin with well-formed fugues. There is no substitute for craft... Art begins with craft, and there is no art until craft has been mastered.

When a writer develops a story, he is confronted with a poison that is inside him. If you don't have that poison, your story will be boring and uninspired. It's like fugu: The flesh of the pufferfish is extremely tasty, but the roe, the liver, the heart can be lethally toxic.

There is a time of life somewhere between the sullen fugues of adolescence and the retrenchments of middle age when human nature becomes so absolutely absorbing one wants to be in the city constantly, even at the height of summer.

There is nothing like a Bach fugue to remove me from a discordant moment.

.. only Bach hold up fresh and strong after repeated playing. I can always return to Bach when the other records weary me.

I can find something between sight and hearing and I can produce a fugue in colors as Bach has done in music.

Who rant by note, and through the gamut rage;

in songs and airs express their martial fire; combat in trills, and in a fugue expire.

One really ought to be afraid of self-torture.

But it tempted me. It begged. The dark place that my mind was fast becoming blends, in my memory, with the dark womb of church: the chant, the fugue of prayer, the strange erotic energy that carving a very small cross into my thigh with a nail had brought.

What I so like about Poussin and Cezanne is their sense of organization.

Ilike the way in which they develop space and shape in architecturalcontinuity - the rhythm across their paintings. When I paint a landscape, Iget the greatest pleasure out of composing it. As I paint, I try to work outa visual sonata form or a fugue, with realistic images.

In every question and every remark tossed back and forth between lovers who have not played out the last fugue, there is one question and it is this: Is there someone new?

The blues are like the fugue in 18th century. It's probably the music that belongs most to our time.

And I believe that the Binomial Theorem and a Bach Fugue are, in the long run, more important than all the battles of history.

It's like a fugue of evaded responsibility.

The prophesying business is like writing fugues;

it is fatal to every one save the man of absolute genius.

It is folly alone that stays the fugue of Youth and beats off touring Old Age.

The history of knowledge is a great fugue in which the voices of the nations one after the other emerge.

In every question and every remark tossed back and forth between lovers who have not played out the last fugue, there is one question and it is this: 'Is there someone new?'

There's an interesting book called The Fugu Plan, written by Marvin Tokayer and Mary Swartz, which describes the circumstances when European Jews came to Japan, a semi-feudal society.

But music doesn't sum up my approach to literature - even in Vain Art of the Fugue. To 'fugue' I had to invent 'trap-words,' or words that would force the narrator to turn around and start his path anew.

Vain Art of the Fugue was the only one of my novels to be met with relative public recognition: it was nominated for the Prix Médicis by Alain Robbe-Grillet. Milan Kundera pocketed the prize instead and the public never clamored to buy it.

My first book published in France was translated and titled Exercices d'Attente in 1972. It was a collection of short works written and published in Romania. In 1973 I was ready to publish the novel Arpièges, which I had started writing in Romanian and of which I had published some fragments under the title Vain Art of the Fugue. Some years later, I finished Necessary Marriage.

No one ever told us we had to study our lives,make of our lives a study, as if learning natural historyor music, that we should beginwith the simple exercises firstand slowly go on tryingthe hard ones, practicing till strengthand accuracy became one with the daringto leap into transcendence, take the chance of breaking down in the wild arpeggioor faulting the full sentence of the fugue.

Two years of close association with some of the best (as well as some of the worst) tunes in the world was a better musical education than any amount of sonatas and fugues.

I want Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D played at my funeral.

If it isn't I shall jolly well want to know why.

my love of water ... is mingled with and almost indistinguishable from a fear of water (I can float in a vertical position - I enter a fugue state - but I cannot bear to bury my face in water).

The Besicovitch style is architectural.

He builds out of simply elements a delicate and complicated architectural structure, usually with a hierarchical plan, and then, when the building is finished, the completed structure leads by simple arguments to an unexpected conclusion. Every Besicovitch proof is a work of art, as carefully constructed as a Bach fugue.

The old man slowly raised himself from the piano stool, fixed those cheerful blue eyes piercingly and at the same time with unimaginable friendliness upon him, and said: "Making music together is the best way for two people to become friends. There is none easier. That is a fine thing. I hope you and I shall remain friends. Perhaps you too will learn how to make fugues, Joseph.