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Johannes Brahms

A symphony is no joke.

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Study Bach. There you will find everything.

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Everything that is human is subject to human vanity.

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If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon.

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Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.

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I sometimes ponder on variation form and it seems to me it ought to be more restrained, purer.

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It is not hard to compose, but what is fabulously hard is to leave the superfluous notes under the table.

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We cling nervously to the melody, but we don't handle it freely, we don't really make anything new out of it, we merely overload it.

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Composers in the old days used to keep strictly to the base of the theme, as their real subject. Beethoven varies the melody, harmony and rhythms so beautifully.

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Straight-away the ideas flow in upon me, directly from God, and not only do I see distinct themes in my mind's eye, but they are clothed in the right forms, harmonies, and orchestration.

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Johannes Brahms
Johannes Brahms