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Q: Who said this? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Who said this?
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Performing Arts
Asked by: markabe-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 21 Jul 2002 22:54 PDT
Expires: 20 Aug 2002 22:54 PDT
Question ID: 43614
I read somewhere this quote by a conductor that went along the lines

If you want to please your critics, then don't play too fast, too
slow, too loud, or too soft.

What's the quote and who said it?
Subject: Re: Who said this?
Answered By: angy-ga on 22 Jul 2002 01:40 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi, markabe-ga,

What a great quote ! It is attributed to Arturo Toscanini (1867 -
1957) and is said to be his advice to pianist Vladimir Horowitz
(Toscanini's son-in-law, married to his daughter Wanda).

There seem to be three versions, but the most probable is that given
by Wes Phillips on his site at:

"If you want to please only the critics, don't play too loud, too
soft, too fast, too slow."

This version is confirmed by Jane Ellen at her site:

The inclusion of "only" seems to give the quote just the right tongue
in cheek feel.

Cam, a student at CU Boulder in Colorado, gives it as his favourite
quote on his home page:

His version is:

"If you only want to please the critics, don't play too loud, too
soft, too fast, too slow. "

And finally Creative Quotations cite it without the "only".

Probably no-one knows exactly, since it seems to have been said, not
written down, by Toscanini.

If you are interested in the life of and work of Arturo Toscanini,
Peter Guttman has some excellent notes at:

(Copyright 1992 by Peter Gutmann)

Amazingly, Toscanini gave his last concert in 1854, at the age of 87.

Thanks for the interesting question.

"critics please too fast"
markabe-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Very interesting. Thanks for confirming the exact words that were said, too.

Subject: Re: Who said this?
From: cheef-ga on 21 Jul 2002 22:57 PDT
If you want to please only the critics, don't play too loud, too soft,
too fast, too slow.
...Arturo Toscanini
Subject: Re: Who said this?
From: angy-ga on 22 Jul 2002 01:48 PDT
I forgot to add my search terms - they were:
"critics+please+too+fast"  and "Toscanini+critics"

Note too that cheef-ga's last reference - to - aslo
gives the version without the word "only".

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