Tag Archives: Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra

[49] Samuel Barber – Adagio For Strings

14 Mar

So now I know where Danny Elfman learned everything he knows.  And I have a sneaking suspicion even John Williams may have picked up some pointers from Samuel Barber . . .

Adagio For Strings

Adagio For Strings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Moon singles out one nine minute piece of nocturnal contemplation for consideration, but the entire album is as vivid and visual a collection of classical music as I have ever heard.

The “Adagio” itself is a serious, brooding affair, weighty and intricate.  And if it sounds familiar it is because it is often used in solemn moments (such as the Kennedy funeral) and in movies like The Elephant Man and Platoon

Had Disney followed through on his original plan for Fantasia, I have no doubt we would now have some exquisite piece of animation come to mind whenever we hear these strings.

But everything else here – from “The School For Scandal” through the three “Essays”, to “Medea’s Dance of Vengeance” – is equally, if not more, breathtaking.  Each piece is hugely cinematic in scope, evoking roller coaster rides, midnight escapes, chaotic battles and the idyllic lulls that follow.

They are in turn sweeping, uplifting, pulse pounding and triumphant.

That they were seemingly not inspired by specific visuals is as surprising as is the range of emotion that are evoked in the listener over this wonderful hour and a bit.

Owned before blogging? No. (2 of 49. 4%)
Heard before blogging? No. (4 of 49. 8%)
Recommend? Yes. (40 of 49. 82%)

Next Week:  Ray Barretto – Barretto Power

 

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