„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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