Samuel Barber

WRTI continues its series of concert broadcasts of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra with Music Director Louis Scaglione on the podium. This Sunday it's music of Samuel Barber, Roland Szentpali, Jennifer Higdon, and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

When Samuel Barber’s violin concerto was rejected by the man for whom it was commissioned in 1939, he turned to his alma mater — The Curtis Institute of Music — where the concerto was performed to acclaim, leading to its official premiere with The Philadelphia Orchestra. WRTI’s Susan Lewis talked to a panel of artists about Barber’s legacy, and the pleasures and perils of creating and performing new work in Philadelphia.

He was awarded, and accepted, and acquainted with success. Samuel Barber had so much success that it might be more proper to say that he endured, rather than enjoyed it. Donal Henahan wrote in his New York Times obituary of the composer, “Samuel Barber was hounded by success. Probably no other American composer has ever enjoyed such early, such persistent and such long-lasting acclaim.”

On Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, Saturday, December 5th, 5 to 6 pm on WRTI.

Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings didn’t start out the way we know it now. WRTI’s Kile Smith looks at the inescapable strangeness of this work that is now one of the most heard and most moving pieces in the repertoire.

Summer CD Roundup

Aug 23, 2015

James Horner: Pas de Deux
Disillusionment with atonal contemporary music then being written drove the young James Horner to film scoring. In November 2014, after years of movie successes, the 61-year-old film composer (Titanic, Avatar, The Amazing Spider-Man) returned to the concert hall with a triumph, his Double Concerto for violin and cello. The work was premiered by its dedicatees, the Norwegian Samuelsen siblings Mari and Hakon.

Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, performed by Capella Istropolitana, is featured on CD 3 in the WRTI 60th Anniversary Classical 3-CD set.

This iconic masterpiece by West Chester, Pa. native Samuel Barber began its existence in 1936 as the slow movement of his only String Quartet. Barber immediately recognized the expressive possibilities of his music and rearranged the movement for string orchestra later that same year. A continuous ebb and flow of sustained-note cadences that only gradually resolve produces an effect of a great heaving or sighing.

The deep sadness the music evokes has led to the work’s performance as an anthem of mourning for heads of state and during national tragedies. It has also been used to great effect in many film soundtracks.

Susan Lewis considers why Chopin's music appeals to ballet choreographers, as Pennsylvania Ballet stages a trio of works on March 13 and 14, 2010 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the 19th-century composer's birth.

As part of celebrations of Samuel Barber's centenary, David Patrick Stearns looks ahead to performances of Antony and Cleopatra by the Curtis Opera Theatre.

Samuel Barber Tribute Part 2

Mar 13, 2010

Join Jill Pasternak and special guests for a centennial tribute to West Chester, Pennsylvania native Samuel Barber. In Part 2 of a series, this week's program features faculty artists from West Chester University's College of Visual & Performing Arts. Guests include Randall Scarlatta, baritone, Carl Cranmer, pianist, and Ovidiu Marinescu, cellist and conductor.

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