„All innovators, logically speaking, have been Futurists in relation to their time. Palestrina would have thought that Bach was crazy, and Bach would have thought Beethoven the same, and Beethoven would have thought Wagner equally so.
Rossini liked to boast that he had finally understood the music of Wagner—by reading it backward; Verdi, after listening to the overture to Tannhäuser, wrote to a friend that Wagner was mad.
So we stand at the window of a glorious mental hospital, even while we unhesitatingly declare that counterpoint and the fugue, which even today are still considered the most important branches of musical instruction…“

Original text:
Tutti gli innovatori sono stati logicamente futuristi, in relazione ai loro tempi. Palestrina avrebbe giudicato pazzo Bach, e così Bach avrebbe giudicato Beethoven, e così Beethoven avrebbe giudicato Wagner.
Rossini si vantava di aver finalmente capito la musica di Wagner leggendola a rovescio! Verdi, dopo un’audizione dell’ouverture del Tannhäuser, in una lettera a un suo amico chiamava Wagner matto.
Siamo dunque alla finestra di un manicomio glorioso, mentre dichiariamo, senza esitare, che il contrappunto e la fuga, ancor oggi considerati come il ramo più importante dell’insegnamento musicale...
Source: Technical Manifesto of Futurist Music (1911), p. 80

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update Sept. 13, 2021. History
Francesco Balilla Pratella photo
Francesco Balilla Pratella3
Italian composer 1880 - 1955

Related quotes

Tom Robbins photo
Hans Frank photo

„I did not care for Wagner. My tastes are more classical. Der Fuhrer had no musical taste and liked Wagner because of the bombastic Teutonic glories.“

—  Hans Frank German war criminal 1900 - 1946

To Leon Goldensohn, February 12, 1946, from "The Nuremberg Interviews" by Leon Goldensohn, Robert Gellately - History - 2004

Mark Twain photo

„The late Bill Nye once said "I have been told that Wagner's music is better than it sounds."“

—  Mark Twain American author and humorist 1835 - 1910

Source: Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1 (2010), p. 288

Henry Miller photo
Mark Twain photo

„Wagner's music is better than it sounds.“

—  Mark Twain American author and humorist 1835 - 1910

Actually by Bill Nye, possibly confused due to Nye quoting Twain in More Tramps Abroad, 1897. (See also autobiography, vol. 1, p. 288.)

Tom Stoppard photo

„I mean, if Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at twenty-two, the history of music would have been very different. As would the history of aviation, of course.“

—  Tom Stoppard, The Real Thing

Henry, Act II, scene V
Source: The Real Thing (1982)
Context: Buddy Holly was twenty-two. Think of what he might have gone on to achieve. I mean, if Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at twenty-two, the history of music would have been very different. As would the history of aviation, of course.

Daniel Barenboim photo
Hermann Hesse photo
Douglas Adams photo

„The relation of the performance of music to sound is complex and ambiguous: this is what makes possible Mark Twain's joke that Wagner is better than he sounds.“

—  Charles Rosen American pianist and writer on music 1927 - 2012

Source: Piano Notes: The World of the Pianist (2002), Ch. 1 Body and Mind

Friedrich Nietzsche photo
Joanna MacGregor photo
Daniel Barenboim photo
Albert Einstein photo

„Who would have thought around 1900 that in fifty years time we would know so much more and understand so much less.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

From Albert Einstein and the Cosmic World Order, by C. Lanczos (Wiley, New York, 1956)
Attributed in posthumous publications, Albert Einstein: A guide for the perplexed (1979)

Friedrich Nietzsche photo
Sam Harris photo
Susan Kay photo

Related topics