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It is right that the historian should indicate the summits of achievement in art (the poetry, architecture, and sculpture of ancient Greece, sixteenth- and eighteenth-century music, Renaissance painting, etc.); but in a sense this is of little use to us. The claims of life are stronger than the sublimest art; and even were we to agree that we had achieved the best and most beautiful it is possible to achieve, we should be impelled in the end, thirsting as we do more for life and experience than for perfection, to cry out: ‘Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven’s sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!’

-Carl Nielsen