19th-century Composer Quotes
Our peasant music, naturally, is invariably tonal, if not always in the sense that the inflexible major and minor system is tonal. (An "atonal" folk-music, in my opinion, is unthinkable.) Since we depend upon a tonal basis of this kind in our creative work, it is quite self-evident that our works are quite pronouncedly tonal in type. I must admit, however, that there was a time when I thought I was approaching a species of twelve-tone music. Yet even in works of that period the absolute tonal foundation is unmistakable.
An Englishman will take you into a large room, beautifully proportioned, and will point out to you that it is white- all over white- and somebody will say what exquisite taste. You know in your own mind, in your own soul, that it is not taste at all˘that is the want of taste˘that is mere evasion. English music is white and evades everything.
If nobody likes your work, you have to go on just for the sake of the work. And you're in no danger of letting the public make you repeat yourself. Every artist ought to pray that he may not be "a success". If he's a failure he stands a good chance of concentrating upon the best work of which he's capable.