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  • Writer's pictureM Osborne

More of "what they said…" taken from our September 2021 edition of Tutti

Updated: Apr 26, 2022

No, not what the Birmingham Post said about Harborne Orchestra’s last concert pre-COVID, but how composers critiqued their fellow composer’s work. Some of these attributed quotes are quite terse, but make for interesting reading!

Last time we asked if there were more quotes that members would add to the list. We got enough to generate another section in our September Tutti newsletter, and here they are for your enjoyment. Could we get enough for another Tutti item...?

“Rossini would have been a great composer if his teacher had spanked him enough on the backside”.


“He gives me the impression of being a spoilt child”.

Clara Schumann on Liszt

“It’s beautiful and boring. Too many pieces finish too long after the end”.

Stravinsky on Handel’s ‘Theodora’

“It is the most insipid and base parody on music”.

Tchaikovsky on Mussorgsky’s ‘Boris Godunov

“A composer for one right hand”

Wagner on Chopin

“All Bach’s last movements are like the running of a sewing machine”.


“Bach on the wrong notes”

Prokofiev on Stravinsky

“All you need to write like him is a large bottle of ink”.

Stravinsky on Messiaen

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