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).
San Francisco Symphony
All sound clips are from San Francisco Symphony performances and are used with permission of the SFS Players Committee.
Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances
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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:
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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.