Famous Chopin Quotes

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When Marsyas was 'torn from the scabbard of his limbs' - DELLA VAGINA DELLA MEMBRE SUE, to use one of Dante's most terrible Tacitean phrases - he had no more song, the Greek said. Apollo had been victor. The lyre had vanquished the reed. But perhaps the Greeks were mistaken. I hear in much modern Art the cry of Marsyas. It is bitter in Baudelaire, sweet and plaintive in Lamartine, mystic in Verlaine. It is in the deferred resolutions of Chopin's music. It is in the discontent that haunts Burne- Jones's women. Even Matthew Arnold, whose song of Callicles tells of 'the triumph of the sweet persuasive lyre,' and the 'famous final victory,' in such a clear note of lyrical beauty, has not a little of it; in the troubled undertone of doubt and distress that haunts his verses, neither Goethe nor Wordsworth could help him, though he followed each in turn, and when he seeks to mourn for THYRSIS or to sing of the SCHOLAR GIPSY, it is the reed that he has to take for the rendering of his strain. But whether or not the Phrygian Faun was silent, I cannot be. Expression is as necessary to me as leaf and blossoms are to the black branches of the trees that show themselves above the prison walls and are so restless in the wind. Between my art and the world there is now a wide gulf, but between art and myself there is none. I hope at least that there is none.
Oscar Wilde (De Profundis and Other Writings)
IN THE SMALL Ohio town where I grew up, many homes had parlors that contained pianos, sideboards, and sofas, heavy objects signifying gentility. These pianos were rarely tuned. They went flat in summer around the Fourth of July and sharp in winter at Christmas. Ours was a Story and Clark. On its music stand were copies of Stephen Foster and Ethelbert Nevin favorites, along with one Chopin prelude that my mother would practice for twenty minutes every three years. She had no patience, but since she thought Ohio—all of it, every scrap—made sense, she was happy and did not need to practice anything. Happiness is not infectious, but somehow her happiness infected my father, a pharmacist, and then spread through the rest of the household. My whole family was obstinately cheerful. I think of my two sisters, my brother, and my parents as having artificial, pasted-on smiles, like circus clowns. They apparently thought cheer and good Christian words were universals, respected everywhere. The pianos were part of this cheer. They played for celebrations and moments of pleasant pain. Or rather, someone played them, but not too well, since excellent playing would have been faintly antisocial. “Chopin,” my mother said, shaking her head as she stumbled through the prelude. “Why is he famous?
Charles Baxter (Gryphon: New and Selected Stories)
I was reminded of the child prodigy who was summoned to perform for a famous pianist. The child climbed into the piano stool and played something by Chopin with great speed and accuracy. When the child had finished, the great musician patted it on the head and said, “You can play the notes. Someday, you may be able to play the music.” Puppet
Roger Ebert (I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie)
I truly believe that if they turned all the pianos in the world to firewood, he would throw himself on top of the bonfire. We have laughed together about how I am famous, not him. But we both know that I look much prettier in a dress than he does, that I play much more photogenically.... I am a "girl," and therefore more marketable. But I know that he is the genius, that he can take the Chopin Etudes and add a touch of magic, a spark, that makes them definitively his own. I also knew that one day the world will recognize this. And I will be happy to take second place. I'm sure my playing has gone from strength to strength because of him. And I adore him. He is my piano. He is my bonfire. And if he were no longer there, I would throw myself on top of that fire willingly.
Lucinda Riley (The Orchid House)