quote by Johannes Brahms

In my study I can lay my hand on the Bible in the pitch dark. All truly inspired ideas come from God. The powers from which all truly great composers like Mozart, Schubert, Bach and Beethoven drew their inspirations is the same power that enabled Jesus to do his miracles.

— Johannes Brahms

Emotional Schubert quotations

Nothing is so musical as the sound of pouring bourbon for the first drink on a Sunday morning. Not Bach or Schubert or any of those masters.


We know that a man can read Goethe or Rilke in the evening, that he can play Bach and Schubert, and go to his day's work at Auschwitz in the morning.

A mathematician will recognise Cauchy, Gauss, Jacobi or Helmholtz after reading a few pages, just as musicians recognise, from the first few bars, Mozart, Beethoven or Schubert.

My music wasn't written by Mozart, Beethoven, Bach or Schubert.

It's written by God and me. They go "a one and a two and up." We start on the downbeat. Bam! And that's where we got them.

Mozart is a garden, Schubert is a forest in light and shade, but Beethoven is a mountain range.


For me, Schubert contains the world.

In Romanticism, the main determinant is the mood, the atmosphere.

And in that regard, you could also describe Schubert as a Romantic.

At first I thought I should be a second Beethoven;

presently I found that to be another Schubert would be good; then gradually, satisfied with less and less, I resigned to be a Humperdinck.

In his larger forms, Schubert is a wanderer.

He likes to move at the edge of the precipice, and does so with the assurance of a sleepwalker. To wander is the Romantic condition; one yields to it enraptured, or is driven and plagued by the terror of finding no escape. More often than not, happiness is but the surface of despair.

If you're doing nonsense it has to be rather awful, because there'd be no point.

I'm trying to think if there's sunny nonsense. Sunny, funny nonsense for children — oh, how boring, boring, boring. As Schubert said, there is no happy music. And that's true, there really isn't. And there's probably no happy nonsense, either.


But it wasn't just a technical approach towards the piano, studying the music for this film was also a way of approaching the soul of the film, because the film is really about the soul of Schubert and the soul of Bach.

Take Bach or Schubert: Their music was dedicated to God but filled and shaped their worldly lives. If you are a committed atheist, you lean back and miss all the richness of that history.

The cause of freedom, in music as elsewhere, is now very nearly triumphant;

but at a time when its adversaries were many and powerful, we can hardly imagine the sacred bridge of liberty kept by a more stalwart trio than Schubert the Armorer, Chopin the Refiner, and Liszt the Thunderer.

Chopin was the first piano composer who knew exactly how to make piano sound reach fullness, radiance and grandness. What to regard and what, by all means, to avoid. Chopin was keenly aware of the overtones and he did take care of them so artfully.

But, on the other hand, if Schubert were alive today, he would find even richer fields to plow.


It's easier to interest a conservative audience in pushing the musical boundaries than to involve a young audience used to very noisy, assertive music in something like Schubert or Bach because the further back you go, the less bells and whistles there are.

I never listen to music when I am writing.

It would be impossible. I listen to Bach in the mornings, mostly choral music; also some Handel, mostly songs and arias; I like Schubert's and Beethoven's chamber music and Sibelius' symphonies; for opera, I listen to Mozart and in recent years Wagner.

From the opening lines, Sleeping with Schubert is a hilarious, whimsical romp through the looking glass of a great musical mystery. The writing snaps, crackles, and pops with humor as Bonnie Marson makes Schubert a sexy, happening kind of guy who gives new meaning to our dreaming the impossible.

I want to say at once that I frankly believe that Irving Berlin is the greatest songwriter that has ever lived.... His songs are exquisite cameos of perfection, and each one of them is as beautiful as its neighbor. Irving Berlin remains, I think, America's Schubert.

With Schubert, a lot of the melodies are very simple, but he's in this groove.

He's in touch with his heart.


Salieri was a pupil of Gluck. He was born in Italy in 1750 and died in Vienna in 1825. He left Italy when he was 16 and spent most of his life in Vienna. He's the key composer between classic music and romantic music. Beethoven was the beginning of romantic music, and he was the teacher of Beethoven and Schubert.

Rather, I believe that it is very good, if, with the aid of his songs, we can be reminded, among other things, of the social conditions under which Schubert had to work.

Brahms believed that there was no need to publish absolutely everything that Schubert ever wrote.

I remain loyal to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert in music and to Shakespeare and Jane Austen in literature.

I never want projects to be finished;

I have always believed in unfinished work. I got that from Schubert, you know, the 'Unfinished Symphony.'


I consider the first 20 performances just learning the piece.

Think about it this way: If you think about a pianist who plays a Schubert sonata through his whole lifetime - if you listen to Rubenstein or Horowitz playing their repertoire later in their life, you understand the richness with which they play that music, and how differently they must have played it when they were younger.

A culture that gave the world the spiritual creations of the Classical Music of Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner and Schubert, the paintings of Michelangelo, and Raphael, Da Vinci and Rembrandt, does not need lessons from societies whose idea of spirituality is a heaven peopled with female virgins for the use of men, whose idea of heaven resembles a cosmic brothel.

I planted some jokes in my wedding. Like, the organizers asked me to select music. So when I approached wife at the ceremony, they played the second movement from Shostakovich's 10th Symphony, which is usually known as the "portrait of Stalin." And then when we embraced, the music that they played was Schubert's "Death and the Maiden." I enjoyed this in a childish way! But marriage was all a nightmare and so on and so on.

When people listen to my music, I hope that they will notice that if you take a piece by a composer like Schubert, the major and the minor triad is an extermely important thing not merely as harmony, but in creating melodic lines. Schubert is always walking up and down with arpeggios on C, E, G and so forth. I am not doing anything different really, except using a different system of harmony.

I bring my classical training - some of it, but not all of it - and also my background and culture, to spirituals. And I try to leave room for that unpredictable factor, where the feeling of the song is allowed to come through. The same ethos can be applied to singing Mozart, or Schubert, or Bach. It's not just about what's on the page.


The reason why Schubert is celebrated so much today, lies rather in the fact that there has been nobody else like him - not before him, not after him.

As to...old composers like Schubert or Beethoven, I imagine that, while modern music expresses both feeling, thought and imagination, they expressed pure feeling. And you know all day sitting at work, eating, walking, etc., you have hundreds of feelings that can't be put into words. And that is why I think that in a sense music is the highest of the arts, because it really begins where the others leave off.