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Barber's Adagio and other Romantic Favorites for Strings

4.4 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 6, 1987
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 6, 1987)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 53 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000025TX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,508 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you've seen 'Platoon', and 'Lorenzel's Oil', repeatedly hearing the same traumatic music, and want to own it to your music library, this would be the definite CD to buy. A tiny bit slower than what's heard on the screen, but with more emotive sounds on the strings, the New York Phil under Bernstein's baton would surely put you to tears for sure. I claim this is one of the best recording of Barber's Adagio for Strings (lined with Lenny's performance with the LA Phil on DG).

Vaughn-William's Fantasia based on the music by Tallis is indeed haunting and beautiful, and Lenny's performance is highly stimulating, with the string ever so brilliantly played, undoubtly making one of the most acclaimed performaces. The 'Fantasia on Greensleeves' is beatifully played too.

Tchaikovsky's andante cantabile from his first string quartet is another emotive and wonderful adagio on the CD. Leo Tolsoy was so moved by the music, he was in tears. The same may happen to you with Bernstein and the ever melancholy strings.

Mahler's fourth movement from his fifth symphony is played very well tool. Although not as intricately played as the DG recording with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, this is still as touching as it gets.

Overall, I love this CD, with the ever emotion spilling Bernstein with the New York Phil strings. You should own it too if you love adagios. Lined with Karajan's "Adagio" Series, this CD won't disappoint you. Guaranteed!
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Format: Audio CD
Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis for me is the most hauntingly beautiful piece of Romantic music. There is a tension that draws you in while a crescendo ebbs and flows and washes over you. It is a very sensual experience to be ravished by the beauty of this piece. I suggest listening to it with eyes closed take those 18 or so minutes for your self and be loved by the masters that created, inspired and performed this. thank you!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this CD mainly for the Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, but the Greensleeves Fantasia and Barber's Adagio were unexpected bonuses as well. This is a very good recording, not rushed and not too slow. The only reason I did not give it five stars is because it is an AAD recording, that is, a digitally mastered audio recording, and not digitally recorded and mastered (DDD). However, it remains my favorite CD out of quite a collection (depending on the mood you're in, of course).
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Format: Audio CD
My primary criticism of this CD has to do with the Adagio. The rhythmic integrity of this piece suffers at times in this rendering of Barber's familiar work. Because of the slow tempo and the lack of any wind instruments, this problem is all the more apparent. Approximately 6 minutes into the track, the strings seem to divide into warring factions (the upper vs the lower), led by two different conductors. One staunchly maintains the established tempo, while the other sallies forth into a would-be accelerando. The short-lived battle is ultimately resolved (one would hope in defference to the conductor), but not before the careful listener is left lamenting "what might have been."
The two Vaughn Williams Fantasies are a different story. Both are superb. Mystical, haunting, inspiring -- such words come to mind as the notes unfold into the ear. A master of musical emotion, Vaughn Williams is paid a fitting tribute in these superior recordings.
The Mahler and Tchaikovsky tracks are also quite good. However, in my opinion, these more traditionally romantic pieces are a mismatch for the Adagio and the Fantasies. I find this more true of the Tchaikovsky than of the Mahler. The Andante Cantible comes as a great disappointment to my ear after the Fantasies. Perhaps some other more contemporary (neo-romantic) composers should have been selected instead. One piece that comes to mind is the St. Paul Suite of Gustav Holst. I'm sure that there are any number of others that would have been more congruent with the works of Barber and Vaughn Williams.
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Format: Audio CD
I love Barber's "Adagio for Strings" -- the mood, the emotion, the pace. However, it is trounced by most beginning conductors. I like the slower paced (around 10 minutes) renditions. This performance is my favorite, but the transfer to CD is not the very best (the LP seemed better on my high-end system). I also like Bernstein with Los Angeles (the recording is better, but the performance is not quite as good). I wish this recording would be remastered with 20-bit or HDCD.
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Format: Audio CD
All of the reviewers have praised this CD, and rightfully so - it IS wonderful. Bernstein has done an absolutely masterful job of interpreting these beautiful, even soulful, pieces. The lead piece, Barber's Adagio is a haunting, richly melodic, very emotional piece - which incidentally was the theme from the movie Platoon (remember how haunting the music was?). This CD is perfect for relaxing, romantic evenings (just the two of you), armchair philosophizing, or for an introduction to some of the best classical music around. The collection of all these pieces together, makes an extraordinary gestalt.Yes, you should buy this CD - you will love it!
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Format: Audio CD
You know those times you find yourself looking for something to do (Right!) and you decide to listen to some really great music? Normally there are those sacred few that you know you can always count on to truely satisfy those primal musical notions. For those of you who find your most intimate musical parts itching, let me tell you this,....this baby will scratch em for you! That is if you appreciate some of the most moving and gentle melodic lines that the Romantic era (you knew that is what that meant right! ) has to offer. This CD is destined to become one of those sacred few friends. I am a musician myself. Started at 3 years old on classical piano and viola. Later found myself in drums and bands of all kinds playing for a living. I guess we always find our way back to our roots do we not? This CD has been one of those that meets a specific need, and it does it so well. It has sustained me musically when every other CD let me down. I have even replaced the thing twice before (as you know how they can get broken), and I am now online to get it again. I have even given this one as a gift a few times! Ya getting it yet? This is a great CD! I just wanted you to know that even if you are not sure about this one, it is at the very least a great risk worth taking. So give it a whirl!
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