Friday, October 16, 2009

Richard Strauss, Deal Maker

Yesterday my friend Carl Herko and I got to kidding around about Richard Strauss and witty things Strauss, pictured above, said. Carl brought up the quote: "Never look at the trombones. You'll only encourage them."

After laughing about that, I was joking to him that we should come out with "The Quotable Richard Strauss."

With which, there is this site which gives you lists of people's quotes. Isn't this a tremendous era in which to live? You never have to do any work. You just hit a few computer keys.

The trombone quote is up there front and center on the Strauss page.

Then there is this:

“I may not be a first-rate composer, but I am a first-class second-rate composer.”

Strauss was wrong about that. He was a first-rate composer. Another funny thing about that quote, I heard it attributed to W. Somerset Maugham who said it about himself as a writer. It seems to me I have heard it attributed to other composers too.

That might be one of those quotes that flies around. Like the famous, "There are just two kinds of music, good music and boring music." I have heard it ascribed to Mozart, Rossini and Duke Ellington, to name just three.

Back to the quotable Strauss. What else did he say?

“The human voice is the most beautiful instrument of all, but it is the most difficult to play.”

Fine, that sounds good.

Wait, what's this?

“Building brand name is key. That's what America is all about." I did not know Strauss had opinions about America but I like that!


“We've actually been at the low-end of the Street range for the fourth quarter ... (and) felt that we had to go even lower, so we did -- a nine percent across-the-board trimming here for the fourth quarter, ... The backlogs are still very significant, but the current environment is just not allowing deals to get done.”

Hahahahaha! The thing about the brand names I maybe could have swallowed but not that second one.

There must be two Richard Strausses and the computer could not tell that.

“It's a wonderful networking opportunity. I've definitely furthered deals. I meet high-level and influential people here, and it's a good way to touch base." That is another quote from The Other Richard Strauss.

The other Richard Strauss must be something like Bruce Wasserstein, who warranted a big obituary the other day in the Wall Street Journal. I loved the obituary's headline: "Bruce Wasserstein, Deal Maker."

That is a great way to be remembered!

Hey, you never know, maybe the two Richard Strausses are the same person after all.

I seem to recall that Strauss was a Gemini.

1 comment:

  1. Two quick ones:

    First, Ned Rorem lists composers as first rate second raters and second rate first raters. The formers have all the talent and coast, and the latter have limited talent, but use all of what they have.

    Second: A switch on another quote you used. H. L. Mencken liked to say "There are two kinds of music, German music and bad music."