- Ich weiß für mich, daß ich, solang ich mein Erlebnis in Worten zusammenfassen kann, gewiß keine Musik hierüber machen würde.
- For myself I know that, as long as I can summarize my experience in words, I would certainly not make any music about it.
- Variant: If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
- Letter to Max Marschalk (1896-03-26). Original German text cited from: Blaukopf, Herta (ed.). Gustav Mahler. Briefe. 2nd edition. Zsolnay, Vienna 1996, ISBN 3-552-04810-3, p. 171.
- Tradition is not to preserve the ashes, but to pass on the flame.
- Variant: Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.
- Variant: Tradition is not the preservation of ash, but the transmission of fire.