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Thread: Sir Thomas Beecham quotes

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    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Sir Thomas Beecham quotes

    I'll start, of course they are totally apocryphal I believe.

    Choir Master "Sir Thomas, what do you think of Stainer's Crucifixion?"
    Sir Thomas "I'm all for it".
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    To a female cellist in rehearsal: "Madam, you have between your legs an instrument capable of giving pleasure to thousands - and all you can do is scratch it"

    (and I hope I have this correct because I'm going from memory, but I know it was Beecham)
    Upon being asked if he'd ever conducted any Stockhausen: "No, but I once trod in some."
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

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    Admiral Maestoso marval's Avatar
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    “Brass bands are all very well in their place - outdoors and several miles away.”

    Not a brass band fan then

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    Commodore con Forza
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    A great wit! I put the Stockhausen joke in the "Jokes" thread, but I wasn't sure which conductor actually said it. Now I know, thanks.

    Was it also Sir Thomas who, when a live horse being used on stage, relieved itself during the rehearsals, said to the orchestra "Gentlemen, that horse is not only an actor, it is also a critic."

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    Commodore con Forza
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    Is Beecham the only quotable one? I've heard that Toscanini could vent his spleen, and I'm sure there were others.

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    Admiral Maestoso marval's Avatar
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    There is a musical quotes thread already, this seems to be just about Sir Thomas Beecham. I will renew the other one.

    Another Beecham quote

    No operatic star has yet died soon enough for me.


    Margaret

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    Commander, Assistant Conductor
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    Beecham also said that the harpsichord sounded like two skeletons copulating ! He would not be popular with to-day's period instruments brigade.

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    Admiral Maestoso marval's Avatar
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    “The English may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes.”

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    Commodore con Forza
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    About that harpsichord -- the version I heard was that one sounded like two skeletons fornicating on a tin roof.

    also -- it sounds like his idea of opera was about the same as mine.

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    I think that's right, dll927,' . . . on a tin roof'. I'd forgotten that bit.
    rk

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    Admiral Maestoso marval's Avatar
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    "There are two golden rules for an orchestra: start together and finish together. The public doesn't give a damn what goes on in between."

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    Commodore con Forza
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    Here's another one:

    Beecham was once visited in his dressing room after a concert by an attractive young lady admirer. "Sir Thomas" she asked, "I've been a fan of yours for years. I wonder — would you be so kind as to consider being the godfather of my child".

    "Madam" he replied, "I'd be delighted. But... why bring God into it?"

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    Commander, Assistant Conductor Marc's Avatar
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    At some festivities on one of his jubilees (I'm not exactly sure which one), he received a lot of congratulations and best wishes from other conductors, musicians and contemporary composers. After the long list was finished, Beecham asked: "What? No wishes from Mozart?"

    I also saw a documentary where he entered the concert hall for a rehearsal with the Royal Philharmonic. They had forgotten to place the rostrum. In a hurry they went for it, and the first cellist helped him on it. Beecham was amusingly irritated and asked: "Who do you think I am? SAMSON??" The cellist nodded and answered: "sometimes." Immediately after that, Beecham hit him on the head with his batôn. Immediately after that: Lots Of Laughter. LOL.

    (I admit: these are more like funny anecdotes instead of straight quotes. But anyway, I myself had fun whilst reading/seeing them.)

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    Admiral Maestoso marval's Avatar
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    “If I were a dictator I should make it compulsory for every member of the population between the ages of four and eighty to listen to Morzart for at least a quarter of an hour daily for the coming five years.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhnbrbr View Post
    A great wit! I put the Stockhausen joke in the "Jokes" thread, but I wasn't sure which conductor actually said it. Now I know, thanks.

    Was it also Sir Thomas who, when a live horse being used on stage, relieved itself during the rehearsals, said to the orchestra "Gentlemen, that horse is not only an actor, it is also a critic."
    I know it quite differently. I might be wrong however i read it quite sometime ago and now do not remember where i read it and going from memory.In a performance they used a horse and during its part the horse defecated on the podium. The performance stopped halfway and Beecham took the chance to spare some words for the public in which he said:"You have seen our actor and a critic also made an entrance."

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