• Barber Adagio for Brass Ensemble
  • Barber Adagio for Brass Ensemble

Barber Adagio for Brass Ensemble

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Samuel Barber - Adagio for strings, arranged for Brass Ensemble.


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Samuel Barber - Adagio for strings, arranged for Brass Ensemble.

by Samuel Osborne Barber II (March 9, 1910 – January 23, 1981)

Arrangement by Brian Bindner

The recording of the 1938 world premiere, with Arturo Toscanini conducting the NBC Orchestra, was selected in 2005 for permanent preservation in the National Recording Registry at the United States Library of Congress.In 2004, Barber's masterpiece was voted the "saddest classical" work ever by listeners of the BBC's Today program, ahead of "Dido's Lament" from Dido and Æneas by Henry Purcell, the "Adagietto" from Gustav Mahler's 5th symphony, Metamorphosen by Richard Strauss and Gloomy Sunday as sung by Billie Holiday.

The piece was played at the funerals of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prince Rainier of Monaco. It was also performed in 2001 at a ceremony at the World Trade Center to commemorate the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Adagio for Strings was also part of the program of the Last Night of the Proms that year, in contrast to the event's usual atmosphere.

Adagio for Strings may be heard on many film, TV and video game soundtracks. Notable among these is Oliver Stone's Oscar-winning film Platoon, and David Lynch's 1980 Oscar-nominated film The Elephant Man. It is also used in several episodes of The Simpsons in scenes lampooning sadness and destruction.

The score contains the following instruments :

•   Piccolo Trumpet in Bb
•   3 Bb Trumpets
•   2 Horns in F
•   3 Trombones
•   Euphonium
•   Tuba

Skill level : Medium - Advanced

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