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Virgil Thomson Quotes

"I said to my friends that if I was going to starve, I might as well starve where the food is good."

"Let your mind alone, and see what happens."

"I thought of myself as a species of knight errant attacking dragons single-handedly and rescuing musical virtue in distress."

"You explain how it went, and as far as you can figure out how it got that way."

"The description and explanation is the best part of music reviewing. There is such a thing, and you know it too, as a gift for judgment. If you have it, you can say anything you like. If you haven't got it, you don't know you haven't got it. And everything you say will be held against you."

"I don't care what other critics say, I only hope to be played."

"I've never known a musician who regretted being one. Whatever deceptions life may have in store for you, music itself is not going to let you down."

"I let her alone and when she got that finished she left me alone. We trusted each other."

"I don't go around regretting things that don't happen."

"They look better than we do; they can wear all colors on stage. We're sort of oyster-colored."

"I seem to write an opera about every 20 years; if you live long enough you can write four operas. I finished my third in 1970."

"I look at you and I write down what I hear."

"Falsely conceived and rather clumsily executed crooked folklore and halfway opera."

"I don't have to worry No matter what they do to it, it works."

"Musicians own music because music owns them."

"In Paris, you learn wit, in London you learn to crush your social rivals, and in Florence you learn poise."

"I never learned to verbalize an abstract musical concept. No thank you. The whole point of being a serious musician is to avoid verbalization whenever you can."

"Reviewing music or reviewing anything is a writing job. It's nice if you are experienced in the field you are writing about, but writing is what you are doing."

"Try a thing you haven't done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not."

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