Friday, 5 November 2010

It was on this date in 1938 that Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings received its worldwide premiere on a live NBC radio broadcast. The conductor on this occasion was Arturo Toscanini who had received the work from Barber some nine months earlier, and he chose to premiere the piece with the NBC Symphony Orchestra.

Samuel Barber wrote the Adagio when he was twenty-six years old, in 1936, and it originally constituted the slow mevment of his first string quartet. In the arrangement for string orchestra it was to become one of the most recognisable pieces of classical music, and consistently one of the most downloaded classical works.

If you haven't downloaded this work yet, The Classical Shop has two radio recordings, with Pristine Audio and the Guild Historical label, or if you are looking for a more recent recording there is one on the Chandos label.

 The Guild Historial recording is taken from a broadcast made on 14 May 1940 in Washington, DC and also features Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra 

On the Chandos recording the work is performes by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Neeme Jarvi Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Neeme Jarvi recording 

 The Pristine Audio recording is remastered from the original discs of the 1938 premiere

So whether your preference is for a historical or more recent recording, there is something to suit your taste at The Classical Shop!