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Leonard Bernstein quotes (showing 1-19 of 19)

“Music . . . can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.”
Leonard Bernstein
“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.”
Leonard Bernstein
“This will be our reply to violence:
to make music more intensely,
more beautifully,
more devotedly than ever before.”
Leonard Bernstein
“I've been all over the world and I've never seen a statue of a critic.”
Leonard Bernstein
“Music, of all the arts, stands in a special region, unlit by any star but its own, and utterly without meaning ... except its own.”
Leonard Bernstein, The Joy of Music
tags: music
“Any great art work … revives and readapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world - the extent to which it invites you in and lets you breathe its strange, special air.”
Leonard Bernstein
“I'm no longer quite sure what the question is, but I do know that the answer is Yes.”
Leonard Bernstein, The Unanswered Question: Six Talks at Harvard
“Life without music is unthinkable. Life without music is academic. That is why my contact with music is a total embrace.”
Leonard Bernstein
“Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long.”
Leonard Bernstein
“We're neither pure, nor wise, nor good
We'll do the best we know.
We'll build our house and chop our wood
And make our garden grow.
And make our garden grow!”
Leonard Bernstein, Candide - Vocal Selections: Revised Edition Vocal Selections
“A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
Leonard Bernstein
“The gift of imagination is by no means an exclusive property of the artist; it is a gift we all share; to some degree or other all of us are endowed with the powers of fantasy, the dullest of dullards among us has the gift of dreams at night - visions and yearnings and hopes. Everyone can also think; it is the quality thought that makes the difference - not just the quality of logical thinking, but of imaginative thinking. And our greatest thinkers, those who have radically changed our world, have always arrived at their truths by dreaming them; they are first fantasized, and only then subjected to proof.”
Leonard Bernstein
“The point is, art never stopped a war and never got anybody a job. That was never its function. Art cannot change events. But it can change people. It can affect people so that they are changed... because people are changed by art – enriched, ennobled, encouraged – they then act in a way that may affect the course of events... by the way they vote, they behave, the way they think.”
Leonard Bernstein
“The key to the mystery of a great artist is that for reasons unknown, he will give away his energies and his life just to make sure that one note follows another…and leaves us with the feeling that something is right in the world.”
Leonard Bernstein
tags: artist
“There are two ways to think about all this. One way is that life is absurd to start with and that only a mad man goes out and tries to change the world, to fight for good and against evil. The other way is that life is indeed absurd to start with and that it can be given meaning only if you live it for your ideals, visions and poetic truths, and despite all the skepticism of all the Sancho Panzas' in the world, saddle up whatever worn out horse you've got and go after those visions.”
Leonard Bernstein
“Two things are necessary for great achievement: a plan and not quite enough time.”
Leonard Bernstein
“...I also believe, along with Keats, that the Poetry of Earth is never dead, as long as Spring succeeds Winter, and man is there to perceive it....And finally, I believe that because all these things are true, Ives' Unanswered Question has an answer. I'm no longer quite sure what the question is, but I know the answer is Yes.”
Leonard Bernstein
“A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future.”
Leonard Bernstein, Thinking and Writing in College
“I'm not interested in having an orchestra sound like itself. I want it to sound like the composer.”
Leonard Bernstein

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