Samuel Barber: Adagio (100th Anniversary)

Samuel Barber: Adagio (100th Anniversary)

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In celebration of Samuel Barber's centennial year in 2010, EMI released a two-disc compilation of recordings from its archive of some of his most familiar works. The performances, with one exception, are very fine, and while none may be the very best recorded accounts of these works, they offer a good starting point for a newcomer to Barber's music. With over two and

Overview

In celebration of Samuel Barber's centennial year in 2010, EMI released a two-disc compilation of recordings from its archive of some of his most familiar works. The performances, with one exception, are very fine, and while none may be the very best recorded accounts of these works, they offer a good starting point for a newcomer to Barber's music. With over two and half hours of music, and including 12 complete works, the selection is generous. The slant of the collection is heavily toward Barber's orchestral and instrumental early works, but the selection is obviously dictated by the available recordings in EMI's catalog. Many of Barber's most famous works are here -- Overture to "The School for Scandal"; the "Violin Concerto"; "Knoxville: Summer of 1915"; "Medea's Dance of Vengeance"; the "Piano Sonata"; "Dover Beach"; "Three Songs, Op. 2"; "Summer Music"; and, of course, "Adagio for Strings" -- as well as the "First Essay for Orchestra," "Excursions for Piano," and the "String Quartet." The only real quibble with the selection is the lack of more vocal music, which was a significant part of the composer's output, but which represents less than a quarter of the music included. The only truly bad performance is Barbara Hendricks' slack version of "Knoxville: Summer of 1915," although the accompaniment by Michael Tilson Thomas leading the London Symphony Orchestra is quite good. Hendricks mispronounces words, her tone is lackluster, her intonation droopy, and she sounds like she has given no thought to the interpretation. This set would make a good introduction for the Barber novice, if paired with one of the many fine collections of his vocal works.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/23/2010
Label:
Warner Classics
UPC:
5099968728625
catalogNumber:
87286

Tracks

  1. Dover Beach, for baritone (or mezzo-soprano) & string quartet, Op. 3  - Samuel Barber  - Matthew Arnold  -  Endellion String Quartet  -  Thomas Allen  - Roger Vignoles
  2. Excursions (4), for piano, Op. 20  - Samuel Barber  - Leon McCawley
  3. Sonata for piano, Op. 26  - Samuel Barber  - Leon McCawley
  4. String Quartet in B major, Op. 11  - Samuel Barber  -  Endellion String Quartet
  5. Songs (3), for voice & piano, Op. 2  - Samuel Barber  - James Stephens  -  Thomas Allen  - Roger Vignoles  - Alfred Edward Housman
  6. Summer Music, for wind quintet, Op. 31  - Samuel Barber  - Jeanne Baxtresser  - Chris Craker  - Stanley Drucker  - Judith Le Clair  - Israela Margalit  - Philip Myers  - Joseph Robinson
  7. Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance (from "Medea"), Op. 23a  - Samuel Barber  -  Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  8. Essay for orchestra, Op. 12  - Samuel Barber  -  Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  9. Knoxville: Summer of 1915, for high voice & orchestra (rev. for voice & chamber orchestra), Op. 24  - Samuel Barber  - Michael Tilson Thomas  - James Agee  - Barbara Hendricks  -  London Symphony Orchestra
  10. Violin Concerto, Op. 14  - Samuel Barber  - Elmar Oliveira  -  Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  11. The School for Scandal, overture for orchestra, Op. 5  - Samuel Barber  -  Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra  - Leonard Slatkin
  12. Adagio for strings (or string quartet; arr. from 2nd mvt. of String Quartet), Op. 11  - Samuel Barber  -  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  - Simon Rattle

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