Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.
Truly there would be reason to go mad were it not for music.
To regret the past, to hope in the future, and never to be satisfied with the present: that is what I spend my whole life doing
I sit down to the piano regularly at nine-o'clock in the morning and Mesdames les Muses have learned to be on time for that rendezvous.
If you do not want to write, at least spit on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope, and send it to me. You are not taking any notice of me at all. God forgive you – all I wanted was a few words from you.
Music is an incomparably more powerful means and is a subtler language for expressing the thousand different moments of the soul's moods.
Only music clarifies, reconciles, and consoles. But it is not a straw just barely clutched at. It is a faithful friend, protector, and comforter, and for its sake alone, life in this world is worth living. Who knows, perhaps in heaven there will be no music. So let us live on the earth while we still have life!
The creative process is like music which takes root with extraordinary force and rapidity.
Even in the works of the greatest master, the organic sequence can fail and then a skillful join must be made.
A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood.
After the last notes of Gotterdammerung I felt as though I had been let out of prison.
It is already a great thing if the main ideas and general outline of a work come without any racking of brains, as the result of that supernatural and inexplicable force we call inspiration.
I played over the music of that scoundrel Brahms. What a giftless bastard! It annoys me that this self-inflated mediocrity is hailed as a genius.