It starts from incredible sadness, builds to an incredible climax of intensity, and then finally reaches a kind of serene acceptance. – NPR commentator Robert Kapilow
For Memorial Day, we will honor the fallen with the music that has accompanied some of the most solemn moments in American history – American composer Samuel Barber‘s iconic Adagio for Strings., a “masterpiece of melancholy” that’s been called “the saddest music ever written.”
But you may be surprised to learn that the massive emotion-drenched swirl of strings that’s usually associated with this piece is not how the composer originally intended it; the Adagio’s original form was as the middle movement of Barber’s solitary string quartet, composed in 1935.
That’s how we’ll hear it here, played at a Heifetz On Tour performance in Wakefield, Massachusetts by an all-star alumni quartet of violinists Rachell Wong and Daniel Aizenshtadt, violist Matt Cohen, and cellist Clare Bradford.
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