Sunday, December 18, 2011

Barron centenary

My father, Adam T. Baranowski, was born 100 years ago today, on Dec. 18, 1911. That same year, Stravinsky finished Petrushka and began work on The Rite of Spring, Schoenberg composed Herzgewächse, Nielsen his Third Symphony and Violin Concerto, and Charles Ives had a number of projects in various stages of completion, including the Second String Quartet and the Robert Browning Overture.

Dad would never be aware of any of this. His own musical tastes ran to the Lawrence Welk Show, which to this day I regard as a form of child abuse. Of course, he felt assaulted by my preferences, too, and so the most meaningful way I can remember him today, I think, is to put on a Beatles album, or a Mahler Symphony, and imagine him yelling at me to turn it down.

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