Ignace Paderewski

A man is not necessarily a master because he happened to compose two or three centuries ago. Let us beware of the worship of mere antiquity.

America, the country of my heart, my second home.

Art is great only when it bears the stamp of the individual.

Art is the expression of the immortal part of man.

Art must be a slow and normal evolution.

Art without technique is invertebrate, shapeless, characterless.

Beginnings play their prized part in every finished human accomplishment, for beginnings mean the birth of added progress.

Change follows change in us, almost without transition; we pass from blissful rapture to sobbing woe; a single step divides our sublimest ecstasies from the darkest depth of spiritual despondency.

Chopin was an invalid, as you know, but his music was volcanic.

Every new generation in its hour of dawn, filled with the dreams of youth, its thirsts, intoxications and enthusiasms, thinks itself called upon to impel humanity towards heights unmeasured, believes itself an appointed pathfinder, a thinker of thoughts, a doer of deeds greater than any of those which came before. Every new generation desires beauty, but a beauty all its own.

Fatherland before everything, art afterward.

I am inclined to believe that some music, like certain poetry, finds its appeal and way to all.

I am nothing! If you could know the dream of what I would like to be, you would realize how little I have accomplished.

I cannot imagine a genuinely happy home without music in it.

I do not believe, as do so many musicians, that genius should be left to fight its way to the light. Genius is too rare, too precious, to be permitted to waste the best years of life--the years of youth and lofty dreams--in a heart-breaking struggle for bread. To starve the soul with the body is to do worse than murder. Think, too, of what the public loses!

I loved your country [America] before I knew it.

I owe my sucess in one per cent to my talent, in ten per cent to luck, and in ninety per cent to hard word. Work, work, and more work is the secret to success.

Intellectual isolation always follows commercial isolation.

Is there anything more true than human pain? Is there anything more sincere than the cry for help from those who suffer? Only a great wave of mankind's pity can surmount an immense wave of human misery?

It is not from choice that my life is music and nothing more, but when one is an artist what else can he be? When a whole lifetime is too short to attain the heights he wants to reach, how then can he devote any of the little time he has to things outside of his art?

Just as surely as every new language mastered opens up a new world, so knowledge of a Beethoven, a Chopin, or a Schumann opens up a new world in spiritual beauty and thought.

Man is naturally lazy, therefore he invents labor-saving devices.

Music expresses first of all sadness rather than joy.

Music is the only art that actually lives.

Musical expression is never primarily national, but is personal and individual rather. It is so deep, so profound, that it goes beyond and below nationality and gives voice to the most private feeling. In music there is never exact heredity. Each man is an individual.

Out in the garden where the air is sweet with the breath of roses, with sighs of jasmine and of lily, a lovely daughter of the house, under the shielding murmur of the limes, caught in a starry Nocturne, whispers to some sad youth the tender sorrows of the summer night.

Rhythm is the pulse of music.

The culture of any country is gauged first by its progress in art.

The genius is the man who has genuine and deep human relations with others, who does not cut himself off in the search for originality, but who realizes the value of artistic tradition.

The great familiar musical works are always greeted by the audiences as ever welcome and beloved friends.

The mere fact of knowing that a great audience waits on your labor is enough to shake all your nerves to pieces.

The Pole listening to Chopin listens to the voice of his whole race.

The ultimate necessity is the summoning of the mind and will to do their duty.

The very essence of success is practice.

There flows throughout our whole history a stream of humanity, of generosity, of tolerance, so broad, so powerful and so pure that it would be vain indeed to look for a similar one in the past of any other European country.

Times change, people change, thought and feeling take new shapes, put on fresh garments, sons bow their heads unwillingly to that which enraptured their fathers.

True originality has its foundations in the soul, not in the mind, and when there is an effort to create something different it is usually a failure. Beethoven or Schumann or Chopin did not try to be original. They were original.

When one is an artist, what else can he be?


Memorable Quotations: Composers

Memorable Quotations: Polish Writers

Memorable Quotations:
Polish Writers of the Past (Kindle Book)