| The audience seemed rather disappointed: they expected the ocean, something big, something colossal, but they were served instead with some agitated water in a saucer.
Louis Schneider on La Mer by Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
| The musical equivalent of blancmange.
Bernard Levin, British journalist, on Frederick Delius (1862-1934), British composer
| The musical equivalent of St Pancras station.
Sir Thomas Beecham (1879-1961), on Edward Elgar (1857-1934), British composer
| The singers and crew are not only useless in themselves, but spread about at large their contagious effeminacy.
William Cobbett (1763-1835), journalist, agricultural reformer, soldier and radical politician, on Italian singers in London
| Wagner has beautiful moments but awful quarter hours.
Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) on Richard Wagner
| Wagner was a monster. He was anti-Semitic on Mondays and vegetarian on Tuesdays. On Wednesday he was in favour of annexing Newfoundland, Thursday he wanted to sink Venice and Friday he wanted to blow up the Pope.
Tony Palmer on Richard Wagner (1813-83)
| Wagner, thank the fates, is no hypocrite. He says out what he means, and he usually means something nasty.
James Gibbons Huneker on Richard Wagner
| Wagner's music is better than it sounds.
Mark Twain (1835-1910) on Richard Wagner'
| What a giftless bastard!
Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-93) on Johannes Brahms