Revolutionaries themselves are the last people to realize when, through force of time and circumstance, they have gradually become conservatives. It is scarcely to be wondered at if the public is very nearly as slow in the uptake.
"The Revolutionary Situation", p. 31.
The Appalling Popularity of Music.Constant Lambert
Nothing is so common as to see a political upheaval pass practically unnoticed merely because the names of the leaders and their parties remain the same.Constant Lambert
Once embarked on a course of sensationalism, the composer is forced into a descending spiral spin from which only the most experienced pilot can flatten out in time.Constant Lambert
Music, from being an ordered succession of sounds, has become a matter of "sonorities", and anyone who can produce a brightly coloured brick of unusual shape is henceforth hailed as an architect.Constant Lambert
The whole trouble with a folk song is that once you have played it through there is nothing much you can do except play it over again and play it rather louder. Most Russian music, indeed, consists in ringing changes on this device, skilfully disguised though the fact may be.Constant Lambert
There is a definite limit to the length of time a composer can go on writing in one dance rhythm (this limit is obviously reached by Ravel towards the end of La Valse and towards the beginning of Bolero).Constant Lambert
It is only comparatively primitive machinery that affords a stimulus, and there is already a faint period touch about Pacific 231 and Le Pas d'Acier. One feels…that Prokofieff should have written ballets about the spinning jenny and the Luddite riots; that Honegger should have been there to celebrate the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and the death of Huskisson with a "Symphonie Triomphale et Funèbre".Constant Lambert
Lambert, who admired Duke Ellington and proclaimed his harmonic roots in Frederick Delius (who in his turn had taken them from Debussy), was a fearless reconciler of what the academies and Tin Pan Alley alike presumed to be eternally opposed…In 1972, on a plane from New York to Toronto, I found myself sitting next to Duke Ellington, who spoke almost with tears in his eyes of the stature of Lambert.Constant Lambert
To the seeker after the new, or the sensational, to those who expect a sinister frisson from modern music, it is my melancholy duty to point out that all the bomb throwing and guillotining has already taken place.Constant Lambert
Even in his palmiest days there were good friends who could stand only limited stretches of the Lambert barrage of ideas, jokes, fantasy, quotations, apt instances, things that had struck him as he walked through London, not because these lacked quality, on the contrary because the mixture was after a while altogether too rich.Constant Lambert
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