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Musical Insults - Page 1 - 2 - 3

... it is impossible to deny that his music (?) is a soporific, by the side of which the telephone book is a strong cup of coffee.
Samuel Chotzinoff on Alban Berg (1885-1935)
A composer for one right hand.
Richard Wagner on Frederic Chopin (1810-49)
A glorified bandmaster.
Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961), British conductor, on Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957), Italian conductor
A provincial Debussy.
A. J. P. Taylor, British historian, on Frederick Delius
A tub of pork and beer.
Hector Berlioz, French composer, on George Friedrich Handel (1685-1759), German-born British composer
After Rossini dies, who will there be to promote his music?
Richard Wagner on Qioacchino Rossini
Anton Bruckner wrote the same symphony nine times (ten actually), trying to get it right. He failed.
Edward Abbey on Anton Bruckner (1824-96), composer
Art is long and life is short; here is evidently the explanation of a Brahms symphony.
Edward Lome on Johannes Brahms
Beethoven always sounds like the upsetting of bags - with here and there a dropped hammer.
John Ruskin (1819-1900) on Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Berlioz composes by splashing his pen over the manuscript and leaving the issue to chance.
Frederic Chopin (1810-49), Polish composer, on Hector Berlioz (1803-69), French composer
Berlioz, musically speaking, is a lunatic; a classical composer only in Paris, the great city of quacks. His music is simply and undisguisedly nonsense.
Dramatic and Musical Review (1843)
By God no, if it had been, I should have run away myself.
The Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) replying to a question from the Russian ambassador on whether Beethoven's Battle Symphony was like the actual battle of Waterloo
Composition indeed! Decomposition is the proper word for such hateful fungi.
Dramatic and Musical World (1855) on Franz Liszt (1811 -86)
Far too noisy, my dear Mozart, far too many notes...
Archduke Ferdinand of Austria on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91)
He sang like a hinge.
Ethel Merman on Cole Porter (1892-1964)
He was fiddler and consequently a rogue.
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
He was ignored till he began to smash the parlour furniture, throw bombs and hitch together ten pianolas, all playing different tunes, whereupon everyone began to talk about him.
Henry T. Fink, American music critic, on Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)
He writes the ugliest music extant.
Dramatic and Musical Review (1843) on Franz Liszt
His wantonness is not vicious. It is that of a great baby, rather tirelessly addicted to dressing himself up as Handel or Beethoven and making a prolonged and intolerable noise.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), on Johannes Brahms (1833-97)
I can compare Le Carnival Romain by Berlioz to nothing but the caperings and gibberings of a big baboon, over-excited by a dose of alcoholic stimulus.
George Templeton Strong, British critic, diary entry

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