I sometimes ponder on variation form and it seems to me it ought to be more restrained, purer.
Composers in the old days used to keep strictly to the base of the theme, as their real subject. Beethoven varies the melody, harmony and rhythms so beautifully.
A symphony is no joke.
If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon.
We cling nervously to the melody, but we don't handle it freely, we don't really make anything new out of it, we merely overload it.
Straight-away the ideas flow in upon me, directly from God, and not only do I see distinct themes in my mind's eye, but they are clothed in the right forms, harmonies, and orchestration.
Those who enjoy their own emotionally bad health and who habitually fill their own minds with the rank poisons of suspicion, jealousy and hatred, as a rule take umbrage at those who refuse to do likewise, and they find a perverted relief in trying to denigrate them.
It is not hard to compose, but what is fabulously hard is to leave the superfluous notes under the table.
Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.