Whether it is true or not I can’t say, but I’m told someone asked Mozart once what his favorite part of music was.
“The rests,” he replied.
While his answer may seem flip, I believe he was deadly serious. Imagine music with no spaces between the notes. It wouldn’t be music at all, would it? Just a noisy cacophany.
Beethoven was also clearly aware of the power of the rest to amplify and strengthen his musical message. The first minute of his Great Fugue is a masterful example. (Is it just my imagination, or can you hear in the silence the seed of all great music?):
So often we try to pack so much in that our lives become a jarring jumble, like music minus the rests. It’s good to remember that everything won’t come crashing to a halt just because we paused to breathe.
In fact, allowing ourselves time to rest often has quite the opposite effect!