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About my Father

It was impossible not to love him or care deeply about what he felt. He was a man completely without guile, and whose every thought and action was genuine.

He and mother were loving parents to Paula and me, and they made us feel very special. The question of where or how we fit into Dad's staggering professional schedule never was an issue in our lives, for while we knew he had a very succesful career, neither its glitter nor its burdens were allowed to affect our lives. Nor was the music we heard in the fragmented forms that working musicians are used to hearing it as they rehearse and play back parts to themselves. When Dad had something finished and on disc, we would then listen to it in its completed stage. I have often thought he was afraid to expose us to work patterns which might well have spoiled our appreciation of the totality of music.

Much is written about my father's firmness on the podium where one could see him from time to time flare up with impatience. We know he was a perfectionist; nevertheless, Paula and I are still amused about these stories even as we hear of them to this day. At home he was always gentle and approachable when, with my wife, Pat, and our three children, and Paula, with her husband, Bev, and their two children, we visited my parents in Bournemouth at holidays, no one in the house was more permissive than Dad as the grandchildren scurried about and carried on. I remember no less a tolerance for the high spirits Paula and I possessed as children.

Of course, we miss him and mother. But we have so much to remember them by. In rehearing his music, so much of the feeling about what was so special about us as a family comes back lovingly.

Ken Mantovani

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