Painting of thirty-five expressive heads.

Thirty-Five Expressive Heads, by Louis-Léopold Boilly, c. 1825. Musee des Beaux-Arts, Tourcoing, France.


Volume VII, Number 1 | winter 2014


Gioachino Rossini was known to possess strong opinions about other composers. “Wagner has some fine moments,” he estimated, “but some bad quarters of an hour.” After hearing Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, he remarked, “What a good thing it isn’t music.”

Laughter almost ever cometh of things most disproportioned to ourselves and nature. Laughter hath only a scornful tickling.

—Philip Sidney, 1582