Thursday, December 30, 2010

Albert Einstein in 1928: play it, don't say it!

Albert Einstein on Bach:
"Was ich zu Bach's lebenswerk zu sagen habe: Hören, spielen, lieben, verehren und--das Maul halten."

("This is what I have to say about Bach's life work: listen, play, love, revere--and keep your mouth shut.")
Albert Einstein on Schubert:
"Zu Schubert habe ich nur zu bemerken: Musizieren, Lieben--und Maulhalten!"

("As to Schubert, I have only this to say: play the music, love--and shut your mouth!")
English translations by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffmann


Anonymous said...

Hello Elaine,

That was refreshing, thanks.

So where does this leave Alex Ross and his 'followers'?


The anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss said it best:

“Since music is the only language with the contradictory attributes of being at once intelligible and untranslatable, the musical creator is being comparable to the gods, and music itself the supreme mystery of the science of man...”

You might like this article by Bernard Holland:

"Music is terrifyingly simple, something the inquiring intellectual has a hard time dealing with. Its effects can be profound and lasting, but its processes render the word ''meaning'' meaningless. Music bypasses reason. It attacks us as directly and unthinkingly as an ache in a shoulder muscle, or a soothing shot of Demerol to ease hospital pain; perhaps as the clear jolt of an ice cube down one's neck, or the first taste of good Bordeaux or a chocolate ice-cream cone..."

RTWT here:

Elaine Fine said...

Thanks Anonymous! I have new respect for Bernard Holland.