I am the vessel through which Le Sacre passed.

Art is by essence constructive. Revolution implies a disruption of equilibrium. To speak of revolution is to speak of a temporary chaos. Now art is the contrary of chaos. It never gives itself up to chaos without immediately finding its living works, its very existence, threatened. We’re living at a time when the status of man…

Melencolia I.

The deep-souled genius of Dürer is, indeed, more distinctly manifest in his engravings than in any other of his works. Here it is that his bold spirit expressed itself with the greatest freedom.  Here it is that the questions, the doubts, the despairs- that tormented his soul as they did so many other great souls in…

Les Petits Riens.

My head and my hands are so fully occupied with my third act, that it would not be wonderful if I turned into a third act myself, for it alone has cost me more trouble than the entire opera; there is scarcely a scene in it which is not interesting to the greatest degree. Munich,…

How weary we are of wandering…

As much a controversy and countless consideration there has been, Richard Strauss’s permanence on a pantheon of composers remains undeniable. How can it be otherwise, when one hears the soaring heights of his Alpensinfonie or tastes the decadent rejoicements of Der Rosenkavalier? He remains a man that embodies a time and its attitudes, perhaps in all…

I am free as air, and the whole world is my haven.

But whether I put the question to my head, heart, or reason, view it in the light of past, present, or future, or according to my abilities, hopes, or prospects, everything from my childhood onwards points to an artistic career. Ask yourself frankly, as you think about my childhood, boyhood, and early manhood, in what…

Of Solitude.

The contagion is very dangerous in the crowd. A man must either imitate the vicious or hate them both are dangerous things, either to resemble them because they are many or to hate many because they are unresembling to ourselves… If a man do not first discharge both himself and his mind of the burden…

Rejouissance.

Händel is the greatest composer that ever lived. I would uncover my head and kneel on his grave. Beethoven, speaking to J. A. Stumpff in the autumn of 1823. If there is someone who makes me feel notsalghia for experiences I haven’t lived, dreams that aren’t mine and a happiness I’ve never felt is Handel….

Withered flowers.

“No one feels another’s grief, no one understands another’s joy. People imagine that they can reach one another. In reality they only pass each other by.” In Schubert, one can always find comfort. In his lieder, there is perpetual discovery. One can always find new landscapes, nuances to the emotion and the nature of the…

Boston Cream Pie and dreams.

Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream! My spirit not awakening, till the beam Of an Eternity should bring the morrow. Yes! tho’ that long dream were of hopeless sorrow, ’Twere better than the cold reality Of waking life, to him whose heart must be, And hath been still, upon the lovely earth,…

To define is to limit.

Wilde is piously intent in killing whatever remains of my soul, because he says to know an essence, you must stifle it: he wants me to yearn for my soul. Its value depends on how much exertion it takes to destroy it. André Gide about Wilde, in a letter to Valéry from 1891. Wilde was…