Beginning with a single B flat, Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” is a piece of music often associated with mourning.
In a musical tribute to COVID victims on Jan. 17, as the national death toll approached 400,000, Washington state’s Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performed the sorrowful work inside a largely empty Skyview Concert Hall and for an audience online.
Guest conductor Sarah Ioannides spoke briefly before the performance, saying that Barber’s “Adagio” has become “one of the expressive outpourings in American music.”
“It is as meaningful today as it ever was, with its epic journey from quiet, soft passages of reflection to searing pain,” said Ioannides, music director of the nearby Symphony Tacoma. “But it ends on a note of hope and optimism reflecting today’s world.”
Performance: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, WA, USA
Video: Brent Rogers Creative Services, Inc
Audio engineer: Rod Evenson
Conductor: Maestra Sarah Ioannides
Executive Director: Igor Shakhman
Music Director: Maestro Salvador Brotons
Master of Ceremonies for the performance: Steve Bass
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