Samuel Barber followed no one musical style and established no school of his own, which means that even Samuel Barber's music is not like Samuel Barber's other music. The "adagio for strings," which was actually the second movment of a string quarter not otherwise named, and often referred to as the Agnus Dei because of his rescored version for voice and orchestra, most nearly resembles late romantic music or some of the expressions of the neo-classical style. If you get Barber's Opus 11, the entire string quartet, you'll find that there is quite a stark contrast from the first movement to the second, adagio, movement. I would suggest that for Barber's overall style (difficult to pinpoint, because it is all over the road), that you try Ravel (something other than Bolero, please) or Sibelius. Ravel's La Valse would be a good comparison piece, but only if you listen to Barber's entire quartet, and not just the adagio movement. With that same caveat, i would recommend the second and seventh symphonies of Jan Sibelius. For music which has the same feeling as the adagio movement itself, standing alone (which is usually how it gets recorded--the rest of the quartet doesn't have the same appeal) i would recommend Rafe Vaughn Williams, who greatly influenced Barber, and in particular The Lark Ascending--which though written for solo violin, often is scored for and performed by a string quartet. Barber seems to have been inspired in his writing a good deal not just by Williams, but by most of the "post-Holtz" English school, which has an unnamed, but recognizable style, of which Williams was probably the most successful practitioner. So, you might investigate the music of Frederick Delius and William Walton as well.
Thu 2 Jul, 2009 05:53 am
You might also enjoy the waltz from the incidental music which Aram Khachaturian wrote for the play "Masquerade."
Here is a rendition of that waltz for four hands (piano)
And here is the same piece performed by an Italian mandolin orchestra from Swizerland:
Thu 2 Jul, 2009 12:09 pm
Ralph Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis
Debussy- Clair de lune
Ravel-Pavane for a Dead Princess
Holst, The Planets - Venus, The Bringer of Peace
Bach- Andante, Sonata #2 in a for solo Violin
Bach- Cello Suite No.1, S. 1007 in G - Prélude
Thu 2 Jul, 2009 07:59 pm
Haha yes I did. I actually heard them first, and then a friend suggested I listen to the original. Sure the electronic versions are cool, and they have a nice beat, but in terms of orgasm-inducing musicality, the original rules.
Thu 2 Jul, 2009 09:32 pm
Richard Strauss's tone poem Tod und Verklärung
Richard Wagner's prelude and "Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde
The intermezzo from Pietro Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana