Eugene Ormandy Quotes
Eugene Ormandy was one of the most famous conductors in history. From
1938 until 1980, he served as musical director for the Philadelphia Orchestra.
He became famous for his inspired direction and style...and also for his
verbal blunders. These remarks, made by Ormandy, were collected by the
- "Congratulations to each and every one of you for
the concert last night in New York and vice versa."
- "Thank you for your cooperation and vice versa."
- "Who is sitting in that empty chair?"
- "I'm conducting slowly because I don't know the tempo."
- "I conduct faster so you can see my beat."
- "I cannot give it to you, so try to watch me."
- "I was trying to help you, so I was beating wrong."
- "I am thinking it right but beating it wrong."
- "I told him he'd have a heart attack a year ago, but unfortunately
he lived a year longer." -- On the occasion of the death of David
- "The next movement is still in the factory."
- "Think of your girlfriend or boyfriend or whomever you want to."
- "Suddenly I was in the right tempo -- but it wasn't."
- "I can conduct better than I count."
- "Why do you always insist on playing while I'm trying to conduct?"
- "Even when you are not playing you are holding me back."
- "Don't ever follow me, because I am difficult."
- "It is not as difficult as I thought it was, but it is harder than
- "The notes are right, but if I listened they would be wrong."
- "I wrote it the right way, so it was copied the wrong
way right. I mean the right way wrong."
- "At every concert I've sensed a certain insecurity
about the tempo. It's clearly marked 80...uh, 69."
- "It is not together, but the ensemble is perfect."
- "Someone came too sooner."
- "Start beforty-two."
- "Start three bars before something."
- "Start at B. Yes. No. Yes. No."
- "Did you play? It sounded very good."
- "After two minutes after this time, and I am already there."
- "This is one bar you should take home."
- "Something went wrong. It was correct when I studied it."
- "That's the way it was every time I studied it."
- "There was confusion since I stood here 35 years ago."
- "During the rests -- pray."
- "It has no rhythm, but it will because it's so much faster."
- "I don't get into politics, general or musical, but just call me if you
get jury duty. Even in New Jersey I was able to help somebody."
- "It's hot as hell as can be."
- "Watch me closely -- only one can spoil it."
- "It's so legato it's difficult to splice. Sibelius was famous for that."
- "I can see none of you are smugglers; that's why it's so loud."
- "We do not know when he is coming. He is coming tomorrow."
- "We have to play it longer because there are no numbers or letters."
- "Don't think you are looking at me because you are not."
- "He was listening so I don't remember."
- "I know this music from memory, not from the music."
- "I always feel I do it too slow, but then others do it faster."
- "Beauty is less important than quality."
- "There is a number missing. I can see it."
- "That was perfect. It was just the opposite from what I said yesterday."
- "Yes, the mutes are already on. You took them off in the beginning."
- "Why do you always start after my beat then rush to catch up? Do you
want us to stay behind?"
- "Tonight I'm going to listen with my ears."
- "Muti is going to do the Alpine Symphony this year. He will do it well
because it is not very well known."
- "Death is an awful thing. I don't believe in it myself."
- "Bizet was a very young man when he composed this symphony, so play it
- "Write it down in your own handwriting."
- "Let's start at 35 because I don't know where it is."
- "If you don't have it in your part, leave it out,
because there is enough missing already."
- "More basses, because you are so far away."
- "I need one more bass less."
- "Long note? Yes. Make it seem short."
- "Brass, stay down all summer."
- "Accelerando means in tempo. Don't rush."
- "It's difficult to remember when you haven't played it before."
- "We can't hear the balance yet because the soloist
is still on the airplane."
- "Please follow me because I have to follow him and he isn't here."
- "Without him here, it is impossible to know how fast
he will play it, approximately."
- "With us tonight is William Warfield, who is with us tonight.
He is a wonderful man, and so is his wife."
- "Bizet was a very young man when he composed this
symphony, so play it soft."
- Mahler wrote it as the third movement of his
Fourth Symphony. I mean the fourth movement of his
First Symphony. We play it third. The trumpet solo will be
played by our solo trumpet player. It's named 'Blumine,'
which has something to do with flowers."
- "That's the way Stravinsky was. Bup, bup, bup, bup.
The poor guy's dead now. Play it legato."
- "Serkin was so sick he almost died for three days."
- "It's all very well to have principles, but when it comes
to money you have to be flexible."
- "I mean what I meant."
- "I never say what I mean, but I always manage to say something similar."
- "Let me explain what I do here. I don't want to confuse you
any more than absolutely necessary."
- "I don't mean to make you nervous, but unfortunately I have to."
- "Percussion, a little louder." / "We don't have anything." /
"That's right, play it louder."
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