On Air Now
Cowan's Classics with Rob Cowan 7pm - 9pm
They're refined and sensible on the podium, but these musicians are responsible for some pretty brutal put-downs. Uncover the greatest catty remarks and withering comments from some of the best musical minds in the world.
"God tells me how the music should sound, but you stand in the way." - Arturo Toscanini
"He tried Debussy's La Mer once. It came out as Das Merde." - orchestra member on George Szell
"Madam, you have between your legs an instrument capable of giving pleasure to thousands and all you can do is scratch it." - Sir Thomas Beecham
"Why do you always insist on playing when I'm trying to conduct?"
"It's like a lot of yaks jumping around!" - Sir Thomas Beecham on Beethoven's Symphony No. 7
"A tenor is not a man, but a disease." - Hans von Bülow
"English sopranos sound as if they subsisted on seaweed. English tenors sound like yawning giraffes." - Sir Thomas Beecham
"I hate you all because you destroy my dreams!" - Arturo Toscanini
"Her singing reminds me of a cart coming downhill with the brake on." - Sir Thomas Beecham on a soprano
"I am a pig!" - Arturo Toscanini