Counterattack by composers and musicians
The immoral profession on musical criticism
must be abolished!
The most useless occupation in the world.
Never pay any attention to what critics say.
A statue has never been set up in honour of a critic.
Last year I gave several lectures
on intelligence and musicality in animals.
Today I shall speak to you
about intelligence and musicality in critics.
The subject is very similar.
The trouble with music critics is
that so often they have the score in their hands
and not in their heads.
Keep on good terms with the critics.
Visit the gentlemen now and then!
Consider that you cannot behave
with the "dignity of man" in a kennel,
but that you have only to take care
that the watchdogs leave you alone.
I have become so used to being slated by those critics,
that I felt there must be something wrong
when the worms turned on some praise.
A review, however favourable,
can be ridiculous at the same time
if the critic lacks average intelligence
- as is not seldom the case.
I had a dream the other day about music critics.
They were small and rodent-like with padlocked ears
- as if they had stepped out of a painting by Goya.
If you want to please only the critics,
don't play too loud, too soft,
too fast, too slow.
There is so much talk about music,
and yet so little is said.
For my part, I believe
that words do not suffice for such a purpose.
And if I found they did suffice
I would finally have nothing more to do with music.
I have hitherto nearly always fared badly
with the so-called critics.
Where there was sympathy there was no comprehension.
And for so-called comprehension without sympathy
I do not give a penny.
Musical criticism, even the very best,
seems to attract little public attention
and has practically no influence.
You know, the critics never change.
I'm still getting the same notices I used to get as a child.
They tell me I play very well
- for my age...
Who does that Frog think he is
to come over here and try to tell us
how to play?
We don't go over there and tell them
how to jump on a grape!
(About a French jazz-critic)
I am sitting in the smallest room of my house.
I have your review before me.
In a moment it will be behind me.
(Letter to a critic)