Saturday, January 16, 2010

I Can't Believe I Once Performed Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings

This is an interesting NPR radio broadcast about the famous conductor Arturo Toscanini and how he came to perform an unlikely piece, Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. I knew when I performed this piece at the Wildwood Music Camp in Idyllwild California in 1973, that it was a very special piece of music. I raved about it as my favorite piece years afterward. I'm so amazed when I listen to this music I once played it with a few of today's top musicians.

We musicians rehearsed and ultimately performed this piece during an ominous fire burning the forest a few miles away. It was eerie playing this music in the midst of a major forest fire nearby to say the least.

Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings is an emotionally powerful piece of music that's also been recently entered into the historical archives for the infamous conductor's Arturo Toscanini radio broadcast in 1938. This broadcast was heard by millions of Americans and is considered to be the height of classical music performances in the United States.

This piece of music has been played at Einstein's funeral, JFK's and many others. It tends to put people in touch with their emotions of sadness.