"I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man: wine is not so noble a liquor; and think of dashing the hopes of a morningwith a cup of warm coffee, or of an evening with a dish of tea! Ah, how low I fall when I am tempted by them! Even music may be intoxicating. Such apparently slight causes destroyed Greece and Rome, and will destroy England and America."
"For sounds in winter nights, and often in winter days, I heard the forlorn but melodious note of a hooting owl indefinitely far; such a sound as the frozen earth would yield if struck with a suitable plectrum, the very lingua vernacula of Walden Wood, and quite familiar to me at last, though I never saw the bird while it was making it."
"We went to Mannheim and attended a shivaree--otherwise an opera--the one called "Lohengrin." The banging and slamming and boomingand crashing were something beyond belief. The racking and pitiless pain of it remains stored up in my memory alongside the memory of the time that I had my teeth fixed."
"I have witnessed, and greatly enjoyed, the first act of everything which Wagner created, but the effect on me has always been so powerful that one act was quite sufficient; whenever I have witnessed two acts I have gone away physically exhausted; and whenever I have ventured an entire opera the result has been the next thing to suicide."
"The manner in which Americans "consume" music has a lot to do with leaving it on their coffee tables, or using it as wallpaper fortheir lifestyles, like the score of a movie--it's consumed that way without any regard for how and why it's made."