There are three reasons why I live in Scotland. First, I like silence, and you have to be a millionaire to buy silence in Italy. Second, I like cold weather. Third, in Italy I have too many relatives and know too many people, so I never get a quiet time.
Hell begins on the day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts which we have wasted, of all that we might have done which we did not do.
Melody is a form of remembrance. It must have a quality of inevitability in our ears.
The only thing that interests me in music is to be able to reach into the, let's call it, 'collective unconscious' of what is noblest in the human spirit, the way you find in the music of Mozart and Beethoven and Verdi that wonderful quality that not a note can be changed.
Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers - and never succeeding.
I should have worked harder in my life. I suffer from a guilt complex.
A man only becomes wise when he begins to calculate the approximate depth of his ignorance.
Any subject is good for opera if the composer feels it so intently he must sing it out.
I rebelled against the idea of the artist being what I call the 'after-dinner mint' of society. I didn't want them to be just the entertainers, but rather part of the community - the bread, not only the dessert.
At the premieres, I always watch the audience. If a child asks to go to the bathroom, I know I've failed.
Fate has blessed me.
My advice to composers is, 'Try to reach 90, and everyone will love you.'
For better or for worse, in 'The Last Savage,' I have dared to do away completely with fashionable dissonance, and in a modest way, I have endeavored to rediscover the nobility of gracefulness and the pleasure of sweetness.
Waiting and hoping are the whole of life, and as soon as a dream is realized it is destroyed.
A Schubert song, the A-major chord at the opening of Wagner's 'Lohengrin' - such incredible beauty is a mystery, the divinity of music.
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