Adagio for Strings

The New York Times writes, "If any music can come close to conveying the effect of a sigh, or courage in the face of tragedy, or hope, or abiding love, it is this." Prized by film directors from Oliver Stone to David Lynch and performed as a tribute to JFK and FDR, one of classical music’s most popular works come home to the Symphony stage. Barber’s Adagio for Strings was premiered by legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini, who called the work “simple and beautiful.” 

This concert also features Rachmaninoff’s final composition for orchestra, the majestic Symphonic Dances, and captivating violinist Isabelle Faust performs Britten’s blistering Violin Concerto with “passion, grit, and electricity” (The New York Times).

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Conductor/Performers

Stéphane Denève

conductor

Isabelle Faust

violin

San Francisco Symphony

Program

Barber

Adagio for Strings

Britten

Violin Concerto

Rachmaninoff

Symphonic Dances

All sound clips are from San Francisco Symphony performances and are used with permission of the SFS Players Committee.

Podcasts

Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances

Watch a Video

Stéphane Denève conducts Barber's "Adagio for Strings" in rehearsal with the San Francisco Symphony

Leonard Slatkin conducts the BBC Orchestra's performance of Adagio for Strings at Albert Hall in London:

Read an Article

The New York Times raves about Barber's Adagio for Strings, "If any music can come close to conveying the effect of a sigh, or courage in the face of tragedy, or hope, or abiding love, it is this." Read the full article

In a retrospective titled, "The Impact of Barber's 'Adagio for Strings'", NPR quotes music historian Barbara Heyman: "You never are in any doubt about what this piece is about. There's a kind of sadness and poetry about it. It has a melodic gesture that reaches an arch, like a big sigh... and then exhales and fades off into nothingness." Read the full article, and listen to the radio story

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  1. Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 8:00pm

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  2. Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 8:00pm

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  3. Sat, Oct 18, 2014 at 8:00pm

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Pre- and post-show Events

Inside Music, an informative talk with Ronald Gallman, begins one hour prior to concerts. Free to ticketholders. Learn more.