10 December: Barber’s bread-based request

Every day throughout Advent, the season of overindulgence, we’ll be telling a tale of an overindulgent composer

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Composer:   Samuel Barber

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How indulgent: Strangely indulgent

How: ‘When I die, please remember I don’t want flowers, I just want croutons. Get a sack of croutons and sprinkle them over my coffin.’ These were the wishes of Samuel Barber, and his friends listened. Some of his loved ones baked bread and made croutons, and as the coffin was lowered, three of Barber’s friends sprinkled the croutons. Some of his loved ones could not bring themselves to carry out his wishes.

Did you know:  Barber had a great sense of humour. He often found amusement at the prospect of his burial, even making a joke that he did not want to be laid to rest beside his uncle since the old man’s hair was parted in the middle! Not only that, but Barber requested for a tree to be planted over his head so that the sun would not shine into his eyes. The crouton scattering was ironically his only demand that was met.

Now indulge yourself with…..  Capricorn Concerto

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This bombastic work, based around JS Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 2, should get you in the celebratory spirit!