Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Adagio for Cellos

This is worth listening to--an all-cello version of Adagio for Strings:

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Adagio for Strings

My orchestra is working on Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" for our upcoming concerts in May. This is a difficult piece for me, and I am making excruciatingly slow progress. I am still getting dizzy in the treble clef part. I can read treble clef just fine when playing the flute, but it is still requiring all my resources and more focus than I seem to have to play smoothly through the treble clef part.

Other features of this piece, for those who have not played it, are 5 flats, parts in bass, tenor (way below where it needs to be tenor), and treble clef, and the use of 4/2 time. Focus, I tell myself.

Mstislav Rostropovich conducted this version in 1990, my favorite version so far. I am posting it here to remind myself to listen.

On the other hand, this one, the world premiere, the NBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Arturo Toscanini on May 11, 1938, in New York, is also pretty spectacular. Even without being able to see the orchestra.