Today we take a break from solo string repertoire to bask in the glory of a composition known simply as the Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. The orchestral version of this work, which we will be listening to here, is actually an arrangement of the second movement of Barber’s String Quartet No. 11, an adaptation which Barber made in 1936.
Barber certainly had a way with composing for string instruments, as evidenced by his violin concerto (which we will also sample in upcoming weeks). His Adagio contains perhaps some of the most beautiful melodies and progressions ever written for string orchestra, and the work certainly has an emotional impact on the listener. I hope you enjoy!