Samuel Barber: Absolute Beauty
Known for his mournful Adagio for Strings, Samuel Barber was never quite fashionable. This film is a probing exploration of his music and melancholia. Performance, oral history, musicology, and biography combine to explore the life and music of one of America’s greatest composers. Featuring Thomas Hampson, Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop and many more of the world's leading experts on Barber's music, with tributes from composers Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson and William Schuman.
This beautifully packaged, shrink-wrapped DVD with full-color artwork includes an interactive chapter menu to each composition, and a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound mix, with subtitles in English, French, German, Spanish and Russian.
The film was broadcast on PBS, and screened at nine film festivals internationally, with three best-of awards. It was named a Recording of the Year 2017 by MusicWeb International.
“In the new documentary film Samuel Barber: Absolute Beauty, one realizes how and why Barber’s music has gradually insinuated itself into the very core of the classical music world with a durability that now seems unmatched by any of his contemporaries. With great visual polish, documentarian H. Paul Moon brings together an extremely impressive array of documents, archival footage, interviews with Barber experts, and taped oral histories. And with particular sensitivity and intelligence, Moon explores the nature of the Barber-Menotti relationship. His ability to present so much visual evidence is astounding.” DAVID PATRICK STEARNS, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
“A remarkable success that rewrites the rules of documentary filmmaking, the kind of project that used only to be made by documentary departments of major television studios. If you are at all unfamiliar with this essential twentieth century composer, this marvelous documentary is the ideal place to begin.” CHRISTIAN MORRIS, COMPOSITION TODAY