Famous Quotes & Sayings

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 38 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Dmitri Shostakovich.

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Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 2172860

Every piece of music is a form of personal expression for its creator ... If a work doesnt express the composers own personal point of view, his own ideas, then it doesnt, in my opinion, even deserve to be born. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 550710

I live in the USSR, work actively and count naturally on the worker and peasant spectator. If I am not comprehensible to them I should be deported. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1814743

Stravinsky the composer I worship. Stravinsky the thinker I despise. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1058291

We should think more about it, and accustom ourselves to the thought of death. We can't allow the fear of death to creep up on us unexpectedly. We have to make the fear familiar, and one way is to write about it. I don't think writing and thinking about death is characteristic only of old men. I think that if people began thinking about death sooner, they'd make fewer foolish mistakes. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 169616

I don't know what will become of this piece. Our brave critics will no doubt charge me with imitating Ravel's Bolero. Too bad - this is how I hear war. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 446843

Art destroys silence. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 2136194

People knew about Babi Yar before Yevtushenko 's poem, but they were silent. And when they read the poem, the silence was broken. Art destroys silence. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 467025

I don't think that Prokofiev ever treated me seriously as a composer; he considered only Stravinsky a rival and never missed a chance to take a shot at him. I remember once he started telling me some vile story about Stravinsky. I cut him off. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 110814

Our business is rejoicing, our business is rejoicing. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 113115

A creative artist works on his next composition because he was not satisfied with his previous one. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 173277

The best way to hold on to something is to pay no attention to it. The things you love too much perish. You have to treat everything with irony, especially the things you hold dear. There's more of a chance then that they'll survive. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 255105

I was a guest in the home of a conductor when I was in my early twenties. They turned on the gramophone and played a popular record of a foxtrot. I liked the foxtrot, but I didn't like the way it was played. I confided my opinion to the host, who suddenly said, 'Ah, so you don't like the way it's played? All right, if you want, write down the number by heart and orchestrate it and I'll play it. That is, of course, if you can do it and in a given amount of time: I'm giving you an hour. if you're really a genius, you should be able to write it in an hour.' I did it in 45 minutes. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 271332

Badgering a colleague doesn't come from a fit of pique, it comes from an organic quality of the soul. And a mean soul will inevitably be reflected in music. Wagner is a convincing example of that, but far from the only one. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 433157

I'll admit that writing doesn't always come, but I'm totally against walking around looking at the sky when you're experiencing a block, waiting for inspiration to strike you. Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov didn't like each other and agreed on very few things, but they were of one opinion on this: you had to write constantly. If you can't write a major work, write minor trifles. If you can't write at all, orchestrate something. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 489977

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

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 506575

I don't think that either self-deprecation or self-aggrandizement is among the defining qualities of an artist ... Beethoven could have been forgiven if his symphonies had gone to his head. Gretchaninoff could also be forgiven if his Dobrinya Nikititch went to his head. But neither one could be forgiven for writing a piece that was amoral, servile, the work of a flunky. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 584171

Football is the ballet of the masses. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 619220

I always try to make myself as widely understood as possible; and if I don't succeed, I consider it my own fault. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 749981

I feel eternal pain for those who were killed by Hitler , but I feel no less pain for those killed on Stalin 's orders. I suffer for everyone who was tortured, shot, or starved to death. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 793141

If they cut off both hands, I will compose music anyway holding the pen in my teeth. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 840771

The real geniuses know where their writing has to be good and where they can get away with some mediocrity. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 917738

Now I can't abide rudeness, even in so called great artists. Rudeness and cruelty are the qualities i hate most. Rudeness and cruelty are always connected, I feel. One example out of many is Stalin. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1125571

Real music is always revolutionary, for it cements the ranks of the people; it arouses them and leads them onward. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1209416

Many consider that Shostakovich is the greatest 20th-century composer. In his 15 symphonies, 15 quartets, and in other works he demonstrated mastery of the largest and most challenging forms with music of great emotional power and technical invention ... All his works are marked by emotional extremes - tragic intensity, grotesque and bizarre wit, humour, parody, and savage sarcasm. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1286478

It's about the people, who have stopped believing because the cup of evil has run over. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1308332

Music is good, not evil. Poetry is good, not evil. Primitive, but oh, so true! — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1312872

What can be considered human emotions? Surely not only lyricism, sadness, tragedy? Doesn't laughter also have a claim to that lofty title? I want to fight for the legitimate right of laughter in serious music. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1358446

I write music, it's performed. After all, my music says it all. It doesn't need historical and hysterical commentaries. In the long run, any words about music are less important than the music. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1398215

What you have in your head, put down on paper. The head is a fragile vessel. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1400407

When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1471517

In response to a plea in early 1941 from his colleague and friend, the writer Marietta Shaginyan, who was newly infatuated with the Piano Quintet and its creator, Mickhail Zoshchenko drafted for her a portrait of the Shostakovich he knew, a deeply complex individual:
"It seemed to you that he is "frail, fragile, withdrawn, an infinitely direct, pure child." That is so. But if it were only so, then great art (as with him) would never be obtained. He is exactly what you say he is, plus something else - he is hard, acid, extremely intelligent, strong perhaps, despotic and not altogether good-natured (although cerebrally good-natured).
That is the combination in which he must be seen. And then it may be possible to understand his art to some degree.
In him, there are great contradictions. In him, one quality obliterates the other. It is conflict in the highest degree. It is almost a catastrophe."
Quoted in Laurel Fay: Shostakovich, a Life. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1600331

The majority of my symphonies are tombstones. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1652888

Studying Mahler changed many things in my tastes as a composer. Mahler & Berg are my favourite composers even today, as opposed to Hindemith, say, a Krenek and Milhaud whom I liked when I was young but cooled towards rapidly. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1719894

Prokofiev and I never did become friends, probably because Prokofiev was not inclined towards friendly relations in general. He was a hard man and didn't seem interested in anything than himself and his music. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 1822666

Stravinsky is one of the greatest composers of our time and I truly love many of his works. ( ... ) The marvellous composer has invariably been at the centre of my attention, and I not only studied and listened to his music, but I played it and made my own transcriptions as well. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 2130177

This quality of Jewish folk music [- it can appear to be happy when it's tragic-] is close to my idea of what music should be. The should always be two layers in music. — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 2159420

Those who have ears to hear, will hear — Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich Quotes 2166268

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. — Dmitri Shostakovich