21 August 2004

Samuel Barber

He's much more than just "that music from Platoon" (although that is a stunning piece).

Samuel Barber (1910-1981) is one of those American, neo-Romantic composers. I listened to many of his songs in college. The one I was absolutely hooked on was Dover Beach (for baritone and string quartet). Unfortunately, I don't have a recording and neither does Rhapsody (although they comment on it and mislabel it as "Drover Beach").

After college, when I would pick up used vinyl at some store up in Roswell, I bought a recording of his Violin Concerto. The opening movement is perfect and should be played more. It's a shame that classical stations waste so much time on overplayed pieces and ignore these gems. The third movement had some controversy when the performer who commissioned the work declared it unplayable. Barber got one of his students to learn it in a few hours and proved its playability.

[ posted by sstrader on 21 August 2004 at 3:38:07 AM in Music ]