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Samuel Barber: Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto, Adagio for Strings, Second Essay for Orchestra & Overture to "The School for Scandal"

Samuel Barber , Leonard Bernstein , George Szell , Eugene Ormandy , Thomas Schippers , et al. Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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1. "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 14"
2. "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 38"
3. I. Allegro
4. II. Andante
5. III. Presto in moto
6. I. Allegro appasionato
7. II. Canzone: Moderato
8. III. Allegro molto
9. "Adagio For Strings, Op. 11"
10. "Second Essay for Orchestra, Op. 17"
11. "Overture to The School for Scandal, Op. 5"

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Barber - a good budget price collection 29 Dec 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Samuel Barber - US composer
(1910-1981: neo-romantic,tonal composer)

a brand new amazon purchase as needed to have at least the violin concerto in my collection after being very impressed some ten years ago. a little late i know..
this sony music collection at budget price is certainly a very affordable collection of this 20th C US composer whose popularity remains assured via his ubiquitous Mahler-esque,if still very moving "Adagio for Strings".

full listing:
Concerto for Violin (isaac stern - violin/bernstein: conductor)
Concerto for Piano (john browning - piano/szell : conductor)
Adagio for Strings (philadelphia orch / ormandy :conductor)
Second Essay for orchestra (as above)
Overture (NYPO / schippers :conductor)

the "Violin Concerto" here starts the cd off very well with a heady late/post-romantic sweep,fine if slightly over-sweet vibrato laden playing by stern for my tastes.a powerful,heart tugging work in the Rach/Prokofiev mode. fine but joshua bell's or gil shaham's 1990's versions would get my first choice. a fine spiky final movement by Stern + cohorts here, still makes this work a key 20th C work.

the "Piano Concerto" again is another fine work albeit with much less of a romantic sweep + more emphasis on angularities with very fiery,manic playing from the dedicatee - browning i.e. Prokofiev meets (almost)Nancarrow in places. a little over forward in sound but excellent. the "Adagio for Strings" (which you all must know by now) is given a fairly luscious rendition here but still conveys its emotionalism well. the kronos quartet version goes deeper though i feel.
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