Samuel Barber: First Essay For Orchestra Op.12: Orchestra.
Samuel Barber is a composer that I've been somewhat familiar with for about 20 years. I was already a fan of a number of his works including Overture To The School For Scandal; Piano Concerto; Adagio For Strings; Essay No.1 for Orchestra, which are all included in this six disc set. I've recently become a big fan of his vocal work, Knoxville.
Published in 1982, this version of the Cello Concerto is the first recorded version following the initial one by Zara Nelsova and Samuel Barber. The chamber-like texture of the orchestra provides an ideal cocoon to the energetic and accurate interpretation of the English cellist. While Wallfisch takes into account the dramatic aspect of the work, he successfully chooses to focus on its elegiac.
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The three Essays for Orchestra are, in my opinion, among Barber’s most important and masterful orchestral works. Having played in a performance of the First Essay myself, I can attest to the fact that these pieces reveal more and more of their strengths and beauties with repeated hearings. These too have had some excellent recordings, one of.
First performance: New York Philharmonic, Bruno Walter, conductor; New York, NY; 16 April 1942.
After a period of creative inactivity, Barber resumed composing for orchestra. The Lovers and Fadograph of a Yestern Scene were first performed in 1971, and Third Essay for Orchestra had its premiere in 1980. This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.
As in any well-written essay, Barber explores different facets of his themes, using a variety of rhythms and contrasting orchestral colors. An agitated section leads to a fugue, showing how Barber's technical skills could be used to create deeply emotional music. In the moving climax of the final section the trumpets return to the main theme.