07/26/19 • 13 min
Originally written as the second (slow) movement of a string quartet, Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" went on to become one of the most popular symphonic works of the 20th century in its final orchestral arrangement. The solemn character of the Adagio has led to its frequent use as mourning music, much to Barber’s distress since it was not his intention to write a requiem. It was broadcast following the announcement of President Roosevelt’s death in 1945, and performed by the New York Philharmonic to mark Barber’s own death in 1981. Indeed, the Adagio seems fated to be used whenever someone needs music that sounds both “ceremonial” and “American.” Whatever its unintentional cultural accretions, Barber's melody is still both beautiful and powerful after countless hearings. Series: "La Jolla Symphony & Chorus" [Arts and Music] [Show ID: 35009]
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