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 embrace everything.
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.
Don't bother looking at the view — I have already composed it.
If you think you're boring your audience, go slower not faster.
The important thing is never to let oneself be guided by the opinion of one's contemporaries; to continue steadfastly on one's way without letting oneself be either defeated by failure or diverted by applause.
What's best in music is not to be found in the notes.
Was ihr Theaterleute euere Tradition nennt, das ist nichts anderes als eure Bequemlichkeit und Schlamperei.
What the theater folks call tradition is nothing more than their laziness and sloppiness.
You couldn't imagine how this will sound!
To Natalie Bauer-Lechner of his third symphony
Try to imagine the whole universe beginning to ring and resound.
On the finale of his eighth symphony "Res Severa Verum Gaudia" (To Be Serious is the Greatest Joy)
In the theatrical works we love and admire the most, the ending of the drama generally takes place offstage.
Tradition is not to preserve the ashes, but to pass on the flame.
Variant: Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
Variant: Tradition is not the preservation of ash, but the transmission of fire.