„He never asks the orchestra to do anything which contradicts the players' feeling of what the music signifies or what the printed notes of the score actually mean in plain musical language. To his credit he does not pretend to omniscience. When a certain progression of programs with the Philharmonic decreed that he conduct the Brahms Fourth Symphony two seasons ago, he disavowed intensive rehearsals with the simple statement to the orchestra: "Gentlemen, you know the work better than I do." Both the compliment and the attitude endeared themselves so much to the orchestra that they literally forgot themselves in a mass effort to justify his statement—and, as one of those who heard the performance, I can testify that they delivered one of the most powerful and integrated interpretations of the score that New York has experienced in years.“

—  Oscar Levant, On conductor George Enescu, in "Music in Aspic," Harper's Magazine (October 1939) and A Smattering of Ignorance (1940); as quoted in "Lightning Wit Plays On American Musical Scene; Oscar Levant Answers Unspoken Request for 'Information, Please' With Uncensored Comments on Exalted Persons" by Ray C. B. Brown, in The Washington Post (January 14, 1940), p. E4
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Oscar Levant4
1906 - 1972
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„Such a one does not always know what he can do, but he nevertheless instinctively feels, I am good for something! My existence is not without reason!“

—  Vincent Van Gogh Dutch post-Impressionist painter (1853-1890) 1853 - 1890
Context: There is a great difference between one idler and another idler. There is someone who is an idler out of laziness and lack of character, owing to the baseness of his nature. If you like, you may take me for one of those. Then there is the other kind of idler, the idler despite himself, who is inwardly consumed by a great longing for action who does nothing because his hands are tied, because he is, so to speak, imprisoned somewhere, because he lacks what he needs to be productive, because disastrous circumstances have brought him forcibly to this end. Such a one does not always know what he can do, but he nevertheless instinctively feels, I am good for something! My existence is not without reason! I know that I could be a quite a different person! How can I be of use, how can I be of service? There is something inside me, but what can it be? He is quite another idler. If you like you may take me for one of those.

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