Wednesday, July 5, 2017

My Favorite Quotes of a Pianist Named Oscar..,.

I have written, at times, about the pianist Oscar Levant; however, his derisive style of humor should be remembered along with his recordings of Gershwin's piano music.
Not only was Levant a gifted performer but he also was noted for his literary abilities - two of his books, "A Smattering of Ignorance" and "Memoirs of an Amnesiac" can still be gotten.
I did a  program on Tufts University radio recently on the life of Levant, which included some of his quotes - thought that I might share some of my favorite little gems with you, in the event that you may not be familiar with his brand of humor:
"What this world needs is more geniuses with humility - there are so few of us left."
"I knew the singer Doris Day before she became a virgin." (Levant first said "I knew the singer Doris Day when she was still a virgin" but decided to 'enhance' his view of the singer).
"Schizophrenia has its merits - you never dine alone."
"I think a lot of Lennie Bernstein, but not as much as he does."
(In conversation with Gershwin) "George, if you had to do this all  over again, would you still fall in love with yourself?"
Gershwin once asked Levant "Do you think that my music will still be heard a hundred years from now?" - Levant's answer was "Yeah, if you're still around."
"A politician is one who will double-cross that bridge when he comes to it."
Just a few examples of Levant's view of his world through humor...

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