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Samuel Barber: Complete Orchestral Works

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In Barber's anniversary year, Naxos is delighted to present his complete orchestral works in a specially priced 6-CD slipcase.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The School for Scandal, overture for orchestra, Op. 5
  2. Symphony No. 1, Op. 9: Allegro ma non troppo
  3. Symphony No. 1, Op. 9: Allegro molto
  4. Symphony No. 1, Op. 9: Andante tranquillo
  5. Essay for orchestra, Op. 12
  6. Symphony No. 2, Op.19: Allegro ma non troppo
  7. Symphony No. 2, Op.19: Andante, un poco mosso
  8. Symphony No. 2, Op.19: Presto, senza battuto - Allegro risoluto

Disc: 2

  1. Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 22: Allegro moderato
  2. Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 22: Andante sostenuto
  3. Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 22: Molto allegro e appassionato
  4. Medea (Serpent Heart) (rev. as 'Cave of the Heart'), ballet, Op. 23: Parodos
  5. Medea (Serpent Heart) (rev. as 'Cave of the Heart'), ballet, Op. 23: Choros. Medea and Jason
  6. Medea (Serpent Heart) (rev. as 'Cave of the Heart'), ballet, Op. 23: The Young Princess. Jason
  7. Medea (Serpent Heart) (rev. as 'Cave of the Heart'), ballet, Op. 23: Choros
  8. Medea (Serpent Heart) (rev. as 'Cave of the Heart'), ballet, Op. 23: Medea
  9. Medea (Serpent Heart) (rev. as 'Cave of the Heart'), ballet, Op. 23: Kantikos Agonias
  10. Medea (Serpent Heart) (rev. as 'Cave of the Heart'), ballet, Op. 23: Exodus
  11. Adagio for strings (or string quartet; arr. from 2nd mvt. of String Quartet), Op. 11

Disc: 3

  1. Violin Concerto, Op. 14: Allegro
  2. Violin Concerto, Op. 14: Andante
  3. Violin Concerto, Op. 14: Presto in moto perpetuoso
  4. Souvenirs, suite from the ballet: Waltz (The Lobby)
  5. Souvenirs, suite from the ballet: Schottische (Third Floor Hallway)
  6. Souvenirs, suite from the ballet: Pas de Deux (A Corner of the Ballroom)
  7. Souvenirs, suite from the ballet: Two-Step (Tea in the Palm Court)
  8. Souvenirs, suite from the ballet: Hesitation Tango (A Bedroom Affair)
  9. Souvenirs, suite from the ballet: Galop (The Next Afternoon)
  10. Serenade, for string quartet or string orchestra, Op. 1: Un poco adagio: Allegro con spirito
  11. Serenade, for string quartet or string orchestra, Op. 1: Andante con moto
  12. Serenade, for string quartet or string orchestra, Op. 1: Dance: Allegro giocoso
  13. Music for a Scene from Shelley, for orchestra, Op. 7

Disc: 4

  1. Piano Concerto, Op. 38: Allegro appassionato
  2. Piano Concerto, Op. 38: Canzone: Moderato
  3. Piano Concerto, Op. 38: Allegro molto
  4. Die Natali, chorale Christmas preludes for orchestra, Op. 37
  5. Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance (from 'Medea'), Op. 23a
  6. Commando March, for band

Disc: 5

  1. Knoxville: Summer of 1915, for high voice & orchestra (rev. for voice & chamber orchestra), Op. 24
  2. Second Essay, for orchestra, Op. 17
  3. Third Essay, for orchestra, Op. 47
  4. Toccata Festiva for organ & orchestra, Op. 36

Disc: 6

  1. Capricorn Concerto, for flute, oboe, trumpet & strings, Op. 21: Allegro ma non troppo
  2. Capricorn Concerto, for flute, oboe, trumpet & strings, Op. 21: Allegretto
  3. Capricorn Concerto, for flute, oboe, trumpet & strings, Op. 21: Allegro con brio
  4. A Hand of Bridge, chamber opera, Op. 35
  5. Mutations from Bach (on 'Christe, Du Lamm Gottes'), for brass ensemble & timpani
  6. Intermezzo (from Vanessa), for orchestra
  7. Canzonetta for oboe & piano (arr. for oboe & strings by C. Turner), Op. 48 posth.
  8. Fadograph of a Yestern Scene, for orchestra (after Joyce: 'Finnegan's Wake'), Op. 44


Product Details

  • Orchestra: Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • Conductor: Marin Alsop
  • Composer: Samuel Barber
  • Audio CD (September 28, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Label: Naxos American Classics
  • ASIN: B003VC51S0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,593 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Samuel Barber is a composer that I've been somewhat familiar with for about 20 years. I was already a fan of a number of his works including Overture To The School For Scandal; Piano Concerto; Adagio For Strings; Essay No.1 for Orchestra, which are all included in this six disc set. I've recently become a big fan of his vocal work, Knoxville Summer 1915. There are a number of fine performances of this work on CD, and the one included here featuring Karina Gauvin is no exception. I enjoy it very much, as I do many other recordings by Leotyne Price, Sylvia McNair, and Kathleen Battle's powerhouse performance on the DG label.

If you're just trying out Barber's music for the first time, you may want to go for the single disc on Telarc, which features McNair's Knoxville performance, as well as the shorter orchestral works I mentioned above. With the more comprehensive Naxos set, you get the two symphonies, the concertos, the orchestral vocal works, and some beautiful lesser known pieces such as Fadograph Of Yestern Scene. Both this set and the Telarc CD feature excellent performances of Medea's Meditation and Dance Of Vengeance. But this Naxos recording is superior to the older Telarc release.

Conductor Marin Alsop and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra have done a great job with Samuel Barber's music. Barber was a 20th century romantic composer for the most part, although there are some more modern elements in the piano concerto and the symphonies. And there are plenty of beautiful melodies to enjoy with every listen. Some of the highlights being Barber's most famous piece, Adagio For Strings, School For Scandal composed at age 21, and the beautiful slow movement from the piano concerto. At around 20 dollars from Amazon vendors, this set comes highly recommended.
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Amazing coincidence - I was just going through some old papers, taking clippings, when I found an article about Samuel Barber and how he is largely forgotten today. Well, not at my house! He is a great American composer and deserves to be remembered. If you've never heard his work, take that leap and listen to something (Overture to the School for Scandal is my particular fave). You'll be glad you did.
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"Adagio for strings" is isolatedly soul- moving.
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No problems, it's a good collection
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If you're open to more contemporary orchestral music, this is great. The texture of his music is lovely, and the concertos are easy to listen to.
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