Quotes of the Great Composers

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)

“Music’s only purpose should be for the glory of God and the recreation of the human spirit.”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)

“God is ever before my eyes. I realize His omnipotence and I fear His anger; but I also recognize His love, His compassion, and His tenderness towards His creatures.”

Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770 -1827)

“I will place all my confidence in your eternal goodness, O God! My soul shall rejoice in Thee, immutable Being. Be my rock, my light, forever my trust.”

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732 – 1809)

“Never was I so devout as when I composed The Creation. I knelt down each day to pray to God to give me strength for my work….When I was working on The Creation I felt so impregnated with Divine certainty, that before sitting down to the piano, I would quietly and confidently pray to God to grant me the talent that was needed to praise Him worthily..”

Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886)

“The ardent longing for the Cross, and the elevation of the Cross have always been my true, my innermost vocation.”

Igor Stravinsky (1882 – 1971)

“The more one separates oneself from the canons of the Christian church, the further one distances oneself from the truth”

Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)

“I will now tell you and your young friend here about my method of communicating with the Infinite, for all truly inspired ideas come from God. Beethoven, who was my ideal, was well aware of this. When I feel the urge, I begin by appealing straight to my Maker…. Straightaway the ideas flow in upon me, directly from God, and not only do I see distinct themes in my mind’s eyes, but they are clothed in the right forms, harmonies and orchestration.

You see, the powers from which all truly great composers like Mozart, Schubert, Bach and Beethoven drew their inspirations is the same power that enabled Jesus to do his miracles. I know several young composers who are atheists. I have read their scores, and I assure you, Joseph, that they are doomed to speedy oblivion, because they are utterly lacking in inspiration. Their works are purely cerebral. The great Nazarene (Jesus) knew that law also, and He proclaimed it in John 15:4, ‘The branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine.’ No atheist has ever been or ever will be a great composer.”

Brahms to a journalist in 1896”

Antonin Dvorak (1841 – 1904)

“Dvorak made famous for his New World Symphony, also wrote many pieces influenced by Christianity. Once he wrote about his Mass in D Major: ““Do not wonder that I am so religious. An artist who is not – could not produce anything like this. Have we not examples enough in Beethoven, Bach, Raphael and many others!”

Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)

“Wagner tends to be known as somebody who was not a Christian and a friend of the famous atheist, Nietzsche. However, at the age of 36 he shocked friends by saying that he had started the work Jesus of Nazareth because he had been ““inspired by a study of the Gospels””. This began a spiritual quest which led to a professed faith in Christ in 1876. Nietzsche rejected him and wrote an article, The Fall of Wagner, in which he stated:““Incredible, Wagner has turned pious… Richard Wagner, apparently the most complete of victors, fell suddenly, helpless and broken, before the Christian cross.’”