The further the music develops, the more complex the apparatus used by the composer to express his thoughts becomes.
If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
It's not just a question of conquering a summit previously unknown, but of tracing, step by step, a new pathway to it.
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.
The longer you live and the more you learn, the more clearly you will feel the difference between the few men who are truly great and the mere virtuosi.
In its beginnings, music was merely chamber music, meant to be listened to in a small space by a small audience.
All that is not perfect down to the smallest detail is doomed to perish.
Never let oneself be guided by the opinion of one's contemporaries. Continue steadfastly on one's way.
The impressions of the spriritual experiences gave my future life its form and content.
The spirit can assert itself only through the medium of clear form.
I was a crazy young man who let himself be blinded by his passions and obeyed only the impulses of the moment.
Don't bother looking at the view - I have already composed it.
You must renounce all superficiality, all convention, all vanity and delusion.
Spring won't let me stay in this house any longer! I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.
When I have reached a summit, I leave it with great reluctance, unless it is to reach for another, higher one.
Melodic invention is one of the surest signs of a divine gift.
I don't let myself get carried away by my own ideas - I abandon 19 out of 20 of them every day.
Behind me the branches of a wasted and sterile existence are cracking.
I live like a Hottentot. I cannot exchange one sensible word with anyone.
There is a world of difference between a Mahler eighth note and a normal eighth note.
I beg of you... never assume an inner or an outer pose, never a disguise.
What I wanted and what I visualized while composing has not always been realized.
Beauty and fullness of tone can be achieved by having the whole orchestra play with high clarinets and a carefully selected number of piccolos.
Destiny smiles upon me but without making me the least bit happier.
The call of love sounds very hollow among these immobile rocks.
If you think you're boring your audience, go slower not faster.
The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star but to go one's way in life and working unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause.
A symphony must be like the world. It must contain everything.
It is strange how one feels drawn forward without knowing at first where one is going.
In the theatrical works we love and admire the most, the ending of the drama generally takes place offstage.
I have become a different person. I don't know whether this person is better, he certainly is not happier.
I hope you will no longer accuse me of a lack of delicacy. as I now count on your understanding.
I am thrice homeless, as a native of Bohemia in Austria, as an Austrian among Germans, and as a Jew throughout the world. Everywhere an intruder, never welcomed.
I also had a brother who was like me a musician and a composer. A man of great talent, far more gifted than I. He died very young... he killed himself in the prime of his life.
To judge a composer's work, one must consider it as a whole.
Fortunately, something always remains to be harvested. So let us not be idle.
It should be one's sole endeavor to see everything afresh and create it anew.