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#457600 - 07/15/02 05:40 PM Composer Anecdotes
aznxk3vi17 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/02
Posts: 701
Loc: Johns Hopkins University

Prokofiev announced one day that there had not been a first-rate French composer since Bizert. "I know," he brushed aside Nabokov's protests, "you like that old crank Satie. You think his followers are important. Well they're not: they're pure mush. The only one in France who knows what he's doing is Ravel."
"But what about Debussy?" objected Nabokov.
"You know what Debussy is!? Calf's-foot jelly. It's spineless music. Except perhaps," and he grinned, "it's very 'personal' jelly, and the jelly-maker knows what he's doing." Prokofiev raised the index finger of his right hand, but did not elaborate.

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#457601 - 07/15/02 05:52 PM Re: Composer Anecdotes
mkesfahani Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 836
Loc: Irvine, CA
Prokofiev can shut up! Spineless music...


#457602 - 07/15/02 06:03 PM Re: Composer Anecdotes
StanSteel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 646
Loc: Los Angeles
Since when does music have to have a spine?
"War does not determine who is right; only who is left."

#457603 - 07/15/02 06:08 PM Re: Composer Anecdotes
StanSteel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 646
Loc: Los Angeles
Prokofiev is my favorite composer but it's weird to think that he could have said such thing. Debussy is probably my second favorite composer. I'm not sure what Prokofiev meant by "spineless". I personally think that Debussy's music lacks genuine feelings but it's full of intelligence and control.
"War does not determine who is right; only who is left."

#457604 - 07/15/02 06:37 PM Re: Composer Anecdotes
B. Alden Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 69

#457605 - 07/15/02 06:57 PM Re: Composer Anecdotes
Ted Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/02
Posts: 1532
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
My teacher, as a child prodigy, was sent to Llandaff cathedral to be a choirboy. Elgar and Debussy used to visit every now and then. My teacher said that Debussy was very bad tempered and used to swear at the choirboys, who were very afraid of him. He told me Debussy would improvise for hours on end on one small motif, boring everybody within earshot senseless.

On the other hand, my teacher remembered Elgar as a really nice, kindly man, more like an amicable farmer than a musician and absolutely unaffected by his own huge musical power. Impressed by the boy's abilities, he spent some time discussing composition with him. My teacher told me he never forgot these sessions, even though at the time he didn't fully realise who Elgar was.
"It is inadvisable to decline a dinner invitation from a plump woman." - Fred Hollows

#457606 - 07/15/02 07:17 PM Re: Composer Anecdotes
MichaelP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 69
Loc: San Diego
Schoenberg showed his just-completed violin concerto to Jascha Heifetz, who looked at it for a few days, and then returned the manuscript to Schoenberg, saying "To play this I'd have to grow a sixth finger." Schoenberg replied "I can wait."

#457607 - 07/15/02 07:27 PM Re: Composer Anecdotes
aznxk3vi17 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/02
Posts: 701
Loc: Johns Hopkins University
Georges Sand did not say a word when Chopin introduced me (Ferdinand Hiller). That was hardly civil of her and for that reason I immediately sat down close to her. Chopin hovered around like a frightened bird in a cage...

Georges Sand rose, strode across the room like a man, and sat down at the glowing fire. I followed at her heels, and primed ready for the next encounter, sat down beside her. She had to say something, at last. She drew from her apron pocket an enormously thick Trabucco cigar and called back into the drawing-room: "Frédéric, a light!" I felt insulted for him - my great lord and master. I understood Liszt's remark "Poor Frédéric!" in all its bearings.

Chopin obediently brought a light.


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