Samuel Barber's musical potential was recognized at an early age and cultivated with lessons in piano, voice, and composition. These led to studies at the Curtis Institute, two subsequent years in Italy upon winning the 1935 Prix de Rome, and a steady succession of commissions, appointments, and awards.
While much of Barber's recognition stems from his works for voice, his most famous composition remains the Adagio for Strings
, transcribed for string orchestra from the second movement of his String Quartet
Premiered in 1938 by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Arturo Toscanini, Adagio for Strings
soon became Barber's most-performed piece. His characteristic melodic ease is shown in serene simplicity as the work progresses through almost reverent material to its lush, graceful climax.
A digital download
of a piano reduction with audio preview is available from Sheet Music Direct. The free Scorch plug-in is required.