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Thread: Barber's "Agnus Dei"

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    Default Barber's "Agnus Dei"

    Does anyone else like this piece of music? Its quite possibly the most moving choral piece I've ever heard. Its just brilliant.

    For those interested, I have this recording: http://www.amazon.com/Bernstein-Chic...e=UTF8&s=music

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    I do. In fact, I like it a tad better than the Adagio. One of my favourite 20th century pieces.
    Regards,
    Navneeth

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    I must say, I lean towards the string orchestra version, simply because even an exeptional choir would find the work challanging on the vocal chords, and therefore the performance given is one of slight restriction and uneasiness. However, the 16 pull in off brilliantly. Yes it's one of the 20C greats.
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Junior Member captaintim's Avatar
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    have you heard the barber adagio in the string quartet version? It was originally written as the 2nd movement of his string quartet (op.11), and I think its much better than in a string orchestra. There is more lonliness, desperation and struggle with four players than a whole string section. Having played the piece and taught it too, I'm totally convinced that its much more effective in the quartet form and surrounded by the outer movements which are mostly built up of the same material.

    I can thoroughly recommend the excellent endellion quartet's recording. It also features Thomas Allen singing some barber songs and dover beach wonderfully.

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    I didn't know a string quartet version existed. I'll try to get hold of clip/copy/whatever. Thanks.
    Regards,
    Navneeth

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    Senior Member ChamberNut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captaintim View Post
    have you heard the barber adagio in the string quartet version? It was originally written as the 2nd movement of his string quartet (op.11), and I think its much better than in a string orchestra. There is more lonliness, desperation and struggle with four players than a whole string section. Having played the piece and taught it too, I'm totally convinced that its much more effective in the quartet form and surrounded by the outer movements which are mostly built up of the same material.

    I can thoroughly recommend the excellent endellion quartet's recording. It also features Thomas Allen singing some barber songs and dover beach wonderfully.
    Although I did know that the Barber Adagio orginated from a string quartet, I have yet to hear a string quartet version of it. Perhaps the orchestrated version is more popular?

    The fact that I really like the Barber Adagio and of course love string quartet and other chamber music makes me very interested in hearing the string quartet version.


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    Junior Member captaintim's Avatar
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    I can thorougly recommend the Endellio Quartet's recording on Virgin Classics. They're an unbelievable quartet if you haven't already come across them, one of the very very best in the world - I've seen them many times through their acquaintance with my music college.

    Be prepared for a very different sound to a string orchestra though. Might take some getting used to at first, but I think the benefits are far greater, plus the other two movements are fantastic. Also on the disc is Thomas Allen singing Barber songs, including a performance of Dover beach with the endellions.

    I think there's also a recording by the emerson quartet. They're always so clean and on top of things but they never quite do it for me in the way that the endellions do. That recording is coupled with the charles ives quartet - I'd go for the endellions every time.

    If its in stock you might get a good deal at the site in my signature (if its displayed).

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