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, statement of 1953, quoted in A Wonderful Life : 50 Eulogies to Lift the Spirit (2006) by Cyrus M. Copeland, p. 190
The Rhapsody is not a composition at all. It's a string of separate paragraphs stuck together — with a thin paste of flour and water… I don’t think there has been such an inspired melodist on this earth since Tchaikovsky… but if you want to speak of a composer, that's another matter.
"Why Don't You Run Upstairs and Write a Nice Gershwin Tune?", in The Atlantic Monthly, April 1955.
Any great work of art … 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.
The 20th century has been a badly written drama, from the beginning. The opposite of a Greek drama. Act one: Greed and hypocrisy leading to a genocidal world war, a boom, a crash, totalitarianism. Act two: Greed and hypocrisy leading to a genocidal world war, a boom, a crash, totalitarianism. Act three: Greed and hypocrisy … I don't dare continue.
Leonard Bernstein: The Gift Of Music
Perhaps the chief requirement of [the conductor] is that he be humble before the composer; that he never interpose himself between the music and the audience; that all his efforts, however strenuous or glamorous, be made in the service of the composer's meaning - the music itself, which, after all, is the whole reason for the conductor's existence."