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November 02, 2012


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John Adams

Your word sketch of Barzun gives perspectives that the handsome portrait does not: a view of his mission and a glimpse into his mind-and-heart. Cheers for offering more than a caption.

Jacques wielded his rapier wit in a way that both amused and challenged his readers––common and intellectual. Quotation is better than brushstrokes to illustrate his ability to simultaneously inform, delight and chastise his readers:

"The first response to any really strange music is laughter--the Javanese conceal well-bred smiles on hearing Beethoven, and we grin shamelessly at their love songs accompanied by nose-blown flutes." (from The Pleasures of Music, 1951, p. 4)

Thank you for the fine reflections.

John Adams

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