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The Saddest Music Ever Written: The Story of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings Hardcover – 15 Sep 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus (15 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160598115X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605981154
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.5 x 23.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,781,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This is a wonderful examination of the effects of an artistic artifact on culture and, conversely, the various uses (undreamt of by the composer) to which the music has been put by others. It is also a personal testament to the power of a cultural artifact on an individual. Highly recommended.

If Aaron Copland was the Updike of American music, then Samuel Barber was its Cheever. Larson provides a rich biographical context for Barber s fervid creativity."

Written with great compassion and earnestness. An intimate history of this great work of music. it is the soundtrack of the soul.--Phyllis Nordstrom

Rarely, if ever, have nine minutes of music been subjected to such intense cultural, historical, and emotional analysis.--Eugene Drucker, violinist, The Emerson String Quartet

An exploration of a fascinating composer, a case study in the cultural appropriation of works of art, and a very personal meditation on the power of music.--Kevin Bazzana, author of Lost Genius

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