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SAMUEL BARBER

Samuel Barber is widely known for his famous Adagio for Strings, the slow movement of a string quartet he wrote in 1936. Born in West Chester, Pennsylvania in 1910, he was one of the first students at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, where he studied piano, conducting, singing and composition. Awards allowed subsequent study in Rome. He taught briefly at the Curtis Institute but soon withdrew, sharing a house with his former fellow student Menotti. His music remained neo-romantic in idiom, although not without contemporary influences.

Orchestral Music

The Adagio for Strings was arranged for string orchestra from the slow movement of Barber’s string quartet of 1936 and played in this form by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Toscanini in New York two years later, in a programme that included his first Essay. Other orchestral compositions include an overture, The School for Scandal, which had won him an award in 1933; concertos for violin, for cello and for piano; a Capricorn Concerto for solo wind instruments; and two symphonies.

Stage Works

Barber wrote three operas, Vanessa, with a libretto by Menotti; A Hand of Bridge, for four singers and chamber orchestra; and Antony and Cleopatra, with a libretto by Zeffirelli. His two ballet scores are Medea and Souvenirs.

Vocal and Choral Music

Barber’s songs include a setting of Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Hermit Songs, settings of Irish texts from the 13th to 18th centuries. Choral works include an arrangement of the Adagio as an Agnus Dei, Prayers of Kierkegaard and the 1971 Neruda setting The Lovers, for baritone, chorus and orchestra.

Chamber Music

In addition to the string quartet, Barber wrote sonatas for violin and for cello.

Piano Music

Barber’s Piano Sonata touches in passing on twelve-note technique, although generally tonal in conception. Other compositions for piano are Excursions and Nocturne, an homage to the originator of the form, John Field.

Box Set Release Catalogue Number
BARBER Complete Orchestral Works Naxos 8.506021
Cinema Classics Box I (Vols 1-5) Naxos 8.505019
Classical Moments 1-3 Naxos 8.506004
Naxos Limited Edition 20th Anniversary Box Set Naxos 8.506013

Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
View by Role: Classical Artist | Classical Composer | Conductor
Role: Classical Artist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
BARBER, S.: Adagio for Strings / Capricorn Concerto / Cello Sonata / Symphony No. 1 (Original Recordings, 1935-1947) Naxos Classical Archives
9.81071P
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Vocal

Role: Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
100 FAMOUS MARCHES Altissimo
75442201072
Choral - Secular, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
101 GREAT ORCHESTRAL CLASSICS, Vol. 9 Naxos
8.551149
Concertos, Orchestral
20TH CENTURY COMPOSITIONS - ORFF, C. / RACHMANINOV, S. / RAVEL, M. / REGER, M. / STRAUSS, R. / STRAVINSKY, I. / RESPIGHI, O. / PROKOFIEV, S. Capriccio
C49007
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Film and TV Music, Choral - Secular
25 FAMOUS MARCHES, Vol. 2 Altissimo
75442255362
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
ADAGIO - The Ultimate Collection Naxos
8.570015-16
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Instrumental
ADAGIO 1 Naxos
8.550994
Concertos, Orchestral
ADAGIO CHILLOUT Naxos
8.556783
Concertos, Orchestral, Instrumental, Choral - Sacred
AIR COMBAT COMMAND HERITAGE OF AMERICA BAND: Flourishes Altissimo
75442261752
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
ALBINONI / BARBER / HANDEL (UK) Naxos
8.554584
Concertos, Orchestral
AMERICAN ANTHEM - The Music of Samuel Barber and Howard Hanson Dorian Sono Luminus
DSL-92166
Chamber Music, Vocal
AMERICAN CLASSICS SAMPLER Naxos
8.559118
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Vocal, Instrumental, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
AMERICAN SALUTE (AN) - SPIRIT OF THE NATION Naxos
8.559147
Orchestral, Film and TV Music, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
AMERICAN WORKS FOR ORGAN AND ORCHESTRA Cedille
CDR90000-063
Orchestral
AMERICAN WORKS FOR PIANO DUO Cedille
CDR90000-069
Chamber Music, Instrumental
BARBER (Eternal) Naxos
8.572133
Concertos, Orchestral, Instrumental, Choral - Sacred, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
BARBER, S. / KORNGOLD, E.W.: Violin Concertos / WAXMAN, F.: Carmen Fantasie (Gilman, Cape Town Philharmonic, Perry So) Oehms Classics
OC799
Concertos, Orchestral, Film and TV Music
BARBER, S.: Adagio for Strings / Capricorn Concerto / Cello Sonata / Symphony No. 1 (Original Recordings, 1935-1947) Naxos Classical Archives
9.81071P
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Vocal
BARBER, S.: Capricorn Concerto / Adagio for Strings / SCHUMAN, W.: Symphony No. 5 / BLOCH, E.: From Jewish Life (1946-1950) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80366
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Instrumental
BARBER, S.: Capricorn Concerto / Serenade, Op. 1 / FOOTE, A.: Air and Gavotte / Suite in E Major (Banfalvi) Capriccio
C10505
Concertos, Orchestral
BARBER, S.: Cello Concerto, Op. 22 / Cello Sonata, Op. 6 / Adagio for Strings (Poltera) BIS
BIS-1827
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music
BARBER, S.: Cello Sonata, Op. 6 / BERNSTEIN, L.: 3 Meditations from MASS / FOOTE, A.: Cello Sonata, Op. 78 (American Visions) (Diaz, Sanders) Dorian Sono Luminus
DOR-90241
Chamber Music
BARBER, S.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 1 - Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 / First Essay for Orchestra (Royal Scottish National Orchestra, M. Alsop) Naxos
8.559024
Orchestral
BARBER, S.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 2 - Cello Concerto / Medea Suite / Adagio for Strings (W. Warner, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, M. Alsop) Naxos
8.559088
Concertos, Orchestral
BARBER, S.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 - Violin Concerto / Music for a Scene from Shelley (Buswell, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, M. Alsop) Naxos
8.559044
Concertos, Orchestral
BARBER, S.: String Quartet / Cello Sonata / WOLF, H.: Italian Serenade (Stradivari Records String Quartet) (1951) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80942
Chamber Music
BARBER, S.: Symphony No. 2 / Cello Concerto / Medea Suite (Barber Conducts Barber) (1950) Naxos Historical
8.111358
Concertos, Orchestral
BARBER: Capricorn Concerto / A Hand of Bridge / Canzonetta / Intermezzo Naxos
8.559135
Concertos, Orchestral, Wind Ensemble/Band Music, Opera
BARBER: Choral Music Naxos
8.559053
Choral - Sacred, Choral - Secular, Opera
BARBER: Knoxville: Summer of 1915 / Essays for Orchestra Nos. 2 and 3 Naxos
8.559134
Orchestral, Vocal
BARBER: Medea Suite / Symphony No. 2 (Barber) (1950) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80190
Orchestral
BARBER: Piano Concerto / Die Natali / Medea's Meditation Naxos
8.559133
Concertos, Ballet, Orchestral
BARBER: Piano Sonata, Op. 26 / Excursions / Souvenirs Naxos
8.550992
Instrumental
BARBER: Solo Piano Music Naxos
8.559015
Instrumental
BARBER: Summer Music / CARTER: Woodwind Quintet BIS
BIS-CD-952
Chamber Music
BARBER: Summer Music / JOLIVET: Serenade / HINDEMITH: Kleine Kammermusik BIS
BIS-CD-291
Chamber Music
BARBER: Vanessa Naxos
8.669140-41
Opera
BERNSTEIN, L.: Arias and Barcarolles / BARBER, S.: The School for Scandal / DIAMOND, D.: Elegy in Memory of Maurice Ravel (Seattle Symphony, Schwarz) Naxos
8.559709
Orchestral, Vocal, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
BERNSTEIN, L.: Serenade / BLOCH, E.: Baal Shem / BARBER, S.: Violin Concerto (Gluzman, Sao Paulo Symphony, Neschling) BIS
BIS-SACD-1662
Concertos, Orchestral
Brass Quintets (Arrangements) - BERNSTEIN, L. / BARBER, S. / WILLIAMS, J. / GOLDSMITH, J. / ARNOLD, D. (Moviebrass) (Gomalan Brass Quintet) Naxos
8.572244
Chamber Music, Film and TV Music
Cello and Piano Recital: Feldman, Emmanuel / Cline-Phinney, Joy - GERSHWIN, G. / BARBER, S. / WALKER, G. / COPLAND, A. (Our American Roots) Delos
DE3449
Chamber Music
Cello Recital: Wang, Jian - CHOPIN, F. / BARBER, S. / SCHUMANN, R. (Presenting Jian Wang) Delos
DE3097
Chamber Music
Choral Concert: St. John's Episcopal Cathedral Choir - CAMPBELL, S. / RUTTER, J. / BAIRSTOW, E. / GARDNER, J. / SUMSION, H. / PICCOLO, A. Delos
DE3125
Choral - Sacred, Choral - Secular
Choral Music - TAVENER, J. / LIGETI, G. / DEBUSSY, C. / BADINGS, H. / POULENC, F. / RUTTI, C. / THOMPSON, R. (San Francisco Symphony Chorus) Delos
DE3270
Choral - Sacred, Choral - Secular, Opera
Choral Music (Sacred) - PALESTRINA, G.P. / DURUFLE, M. / HOLST, G. / BARBER, S. / DVORAK, A. / FARRANT, R. / BYRD, W. (Visions of Heaven) Delos
DE3227
Vocal, Instrumental, Choral - Sacred
CINEMA CLASSICS (THE VERY BEST OF) Naxos
8.578021-22
Concertos, Orchestral, Film and TV Music, Instrumental, Choral - Secular, Opera
CINEMA CLASSICS, Vol. 1 Naxos
8.551151
Concertos, Orchestral, Opera
CINEMA CLASSICS, Vol. 1 Naxos
8.556621
Concertos, Orchestral, Opera
CLASSICAL CHILL 2 - The Romantic Collection Naxos
8.578009-10
Concertos, Ballet, Orchestral, Chamber Music
CLASSICAL MEDITATION Naxos
8.570364-65
Orchestral, Chamber Music, Choral - Sacred, Choral - Secular
CLASSICAL MOMENTS 3: Classical Music to Relax to Naxos
8.555359
Concertos, Orchestral, Instrumental, Choral - Sacred
Classics at the Movies: Drama Naxos
8.556807
Concertos, Orchestral, Film and TV Music, Instrumental, Opera
Classics at the Movies: War Naxos
8.556808
Orchestral, Chamber Music, Film and TV Music, Instrumental, Choral - Sacred, Opera
CLASSICS FOR CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, Vol. 1 BIS
BIS-CD-180
Orchestral, Chamber Music
Classics from the Movies Naxos
8.554576
Orchestral, Instrumental
CLASSICS GO TO WAR Naxos
8.570154-55
Orchestral, Film and TV Music, Choral - Sacred
Contemporary Music for Strings - MARTIN, F. / HINDEMITH, P. / BERKELEY, L. / BARBER, S. (Munchinger) (1956) Naxos Classical Archives
9.81086
Orchestral
DE LYSE NAETTER - Stemningsfuld musik pa 3 CD'er (The Light Nights - Evocative Music on 3 CDs) Naxos
8.503148DK
Concertos, Ballet, Orchestral, Chamber Music
DVORAK, A.: Violin Concerto / BARBER, S.: Violin Concerto (M. Valek, Prague Radio Symphony, V. Valek) ArcoDiva
UP0082-2
Concertos
EASTMAN WIND ENSEMBLE: American Concert Band Masterpieces (1956) Naxos Classical Archives
9.81002
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
EXPLORE AMERICA Naxos
8.559187
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Vocal, Instrumental, Musicals, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
Flute Recital: Walker, Adam - POULENC, F. / MESSIAEN, O. / BARTOK, B. / BARBER, S. / SCHUBERT, F. (Vocalise) Opus Arte
OACD9012D
Chamber Music
GOULD, M.: Symphonette No. 4, "Latin-American Symphonette" / BARBER, S.: The School for Scandal / First Essay for Orchestra (Hanson) (1952) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80381
Orchestral
Gramophone Awards 2000 Naxos
8.555303
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Choral - Sacred, Opera
GREAT ORCHESTRAL CLASSICS 9 (Australia) Naxos
8.570044
Concertos, Orchestral, Vocal
HANSON, H.: Symphony No. 5 / The Cherubic Hymn / BARBER, S.: Symphony No. 1 (Eastman Chorale, Eastman Rochester Symphony, Hanson) (1953-1954) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80987
Orchestral, Choral - Sacred
HINDEMITH / BARBER / LARSSON / JANACEK: Wind Quintets Naxos
8.553851
Chamber Music
Horn Recital: Stacy, Thomas - MYERS, S. / BORODIN, A. / FIOCCO, J. / BARLOW, W. / VILLA-LOBOS, H. / RODRIGO, J. / PASCULLI, A. (Plaintive Melody) Delos
DE3318
Chamber Music
IN BALANCE WITH CLASSICAL MUSIC Naxos
8.503180DK
Concertos, Ballet, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Instrumental, Choral - Sacred, Opera
Klassiska Favoriter Guld - Det bästa av det bästa ur Klassiska Favoriter (Gold Classical Favorites) Naxos
8.503129
Concertos, Ballet, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Instrumental, Choral - Sacred, Choral - Secular, Opera, Operetta
KLASSISKA FAVORITER, Vol. 2 Naxos
8.550554
Concertos, Ballet, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Vocal, Film and TV Music, Instrumental, World, Opera
LIEBESLEID - Classical Favourites for Relaxing and Dreaming Naxos
8.556615
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Instrumental
MARC, Alessandra: Arias (Opera Gala) -BELLINI, V. / DONIZETTI, G. / HOFMANNSTHAL, H. / BARBER, S. / PUCCINI, G. Delos
DE3240
Orchestral, Opera
MOVIE CLASSICS Amadis
7188
Concertos, Orchestral, Film and TV Music, Instrumental, Choral - Sacred, Choral - Secular, Opera
MUSIC TO DIE FOR Naxos
8.557411
Concertos, Orchestral, Vocal, Film and TV Music, Instrumental, Choral - Sacred, Choral - Secular
NAXOS 15TH ANNIVERSARY CD Naxos
8.555964
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Vocal, Instrumental, Choral - Sacred
NYSTEDT, K.: Stabat Mater / HUMMEL, B.: Abschied / PART, A.: Nunc dimittis / BARBER, S.: Agnus Dei (In Croce) (Berger, Kamer Choir, Sirmais) Solo Musica
SM120
Instrumental, Choral - Sacred
OD (Orphei Drangar) Highlights BIS
BIS-CD-383
Choral - Sacred, Choral - Secular, Opera
Orchestral Music (American) - GERSHWIN, G. / BARBER, S. / BERNSTEIN, L. / COPLAND, A. (American Classics, Vol. 2) (Marriner) Capriccio
C10466
Ballet, Orchestral
Organ Recital: Wilson, Todd - BRAHMS, J. / TARTINI, G. / VAUGHAN WILLLIAMS, R. / PURVIS, R. / HARRIS, W. / BACH, J.S. / MOZART, W.A. Delos
DE3145
Instrumental
PANORAMA OF AMERICAN ORCHESTRAL MUSIC (A) (Korn) (1955) Naxos Classical Archives
9.80118-19
Orchestral, Vocal, Instrumental
Piano Duo Recital: Gold, Arthur / Fizdale, Robert - STRAVINSKY, I. / HINDEMITH, P. / BARBER, S. (Music for 2 Pianos, 1900-1952) (1951-1953) Naxos Classical Archives
9.81025-26
Concertos, Instrumental
Piano Duo Recital: ZOFO Duet - GERSHWIN, G. / NANCARROW, C. / BARBER, S. / CORIGLIANO, J. / SHAWN, A. (Mosh Pit) Dorian Sono Luminus
DSL-92167
Instrumental
Piano Recital: Landrum, Michael - FIELD, J. / CHOPIN, F. / RESPIGHI, O. / SCRIABIN, A. / FAURE, G. / FRANCAIX, J. (Nocturnes) Dorian Sono Luminus
DSL-92158
Instrumental
Piano Recital: Sims, Lori - COPLAND, A. / WEBER, B. / GRIFFES, C.T. / BARBER, S. (American Classics) TwoPianists
TP1039152
Instrumental
PILGRIM'S PROGRESS: PIONEERS OF AMERICAN CLASSICAL MUSIC Naxos
8.559200
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Instrumental, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
POULENC, F.: Organ Concerto in G Minor / SAINT-SAENS, C.: Symphony No. 3, "Organ" / BARBER, S.: Toccata festiva (Latry) Ondine
ODE1094-5
Concertos, Orchestral
PRESIDENT'S OWN UNITED STATES MARINE BAND: Bicentennial Collection (The) Altissimo
75442261012
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
PRESIDENT'S OWN UNITED STATES MARINE BAND: Bicentennial Collection (The), Vol. 5 (Albert Schoepper and Dale L. Harpham) Altissimo
75442261982
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
PRESIDENT'S OWN UNITED STATES MARINE BAND: Uncommon Valor Altissimo
75442261022
Film and TV Music, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
REJOICE - A Vision of Christ Through Music Naxos
8.570980
Orchestral, Chamber Music, Choral - Sacred
SEASONS (The) (Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet) BIS
BIS-2072
Chamber Music, Vocal
SERENE JOURNEYS THROUGH CLASSICAL MUSIC Delos
DE1608
Concertos, Ballet, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Vocal, Instrumental, Choral - Sacred
SINGING APES (THE) and Other Songs of Love and War BIS
BIS-CD-733
Choral - Sacred, Choral - Secular
STORY OF AMERICAN CLASSICAL MUSIC (THE) Naxos Educational
8.558164-65
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Vocal, Instrumental, Musicals, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
STRINGS (Eternal) Naxos
8.578027
Concertos, Orchestral
SUNSET CLASSICS Capriccio
C67107-08
Concertos, Orchestral, Chamber Music, Vocal, Instrumental, Choral - Secular, Opera
TANGO IN BLUE BIS
BIS-CD-1175
Orchestral, Vocal, Opera
Trumpet Transcriptions: Morris, Craig - DEBUSSY, C. / SCHUMANN, R. / BRAHMS, J. / BARBER, S. (Permit Me Voyage) Naxos
8.572506
Chamber Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF LIBERTY: On Silver Wings Altissimo
75442261512
Orchestral, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF MID-AMERICA: Heroes, Lost and Fallen Altissimo
75442260292
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF THE ROCKIES: Contrasts Altissimo
75442260072
Chamber Music, Film and TV Music, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF THE ROCKIES: Fantasies and Heroes Altissimo
75442260432
Concertos, Film and TV Music, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND: Innovations Altissimo
75442260152
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE CHAMBER PLAYERS: Brass Works Altissimo
75442261242
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE CONCERT BAND: First Flights Altissimo
75442260572
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE HEARTLAND OF AMERICA BAND: Heartland Concert (A) Altissimo
75442260232
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE HERITAGE OF AMERICA BAND: Ceremonial Music Altissimo
75442270612
Choral - Secular, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE HERITAGE OF AMERICA BAND: Early Light Altissimo
75442261602
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE TACTICAL AIR COMMAND BAND: In Concert Altissimo
75442270432
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES AIR FORCES IN EUROPE BAND: Berlin bleibt doch Berlin! Altissimo
75442260262
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES ARMY BAND: Forward March! Altissimo
75442255812
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES ARMY STRINGS: United States Army Strings Altissimo
75442261372
Chamber Music, Vocal, Choral - Secular
UNITED STATES CONTINENTAL ARMY BAND: To a New Dawn Altissimo
75442263522
Vocal, Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES MILITARY BANDS: Not Sousa, Vol. 3 (Even More Great Marches Not by John Philip Sousa) Altissimo
75442256082
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
UNITED STATES NAVY BAND SEA CHANTERS CHORUS: Homeward Bound Altissimo
75442270402
Choral - Sacred, Choral - Secular
UNITED STATES NAVY BAND: Celebrations Altissimo
75442261042
Wind Ensemble/Band Music
Vocal recital: Larmore, Jennifer - BARBER, S. / BERLIOZ, H. / RAVEL, M. / BRITTEN, B. (Royal Mezzo) Cedille
CDR90000-104
Vocal

Role: Conductor 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 





 
 
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