Barber’s Adagio For Strings
I recently had the privilege of creating a mock-up of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. I created the first 2 minutes of what is about an 8 minute piece. This piece was assigned to me a few weeks ago in a class called Orchestral Mock-Up. I took this class as part of the Video Game Scoring curriculum at Berklee, but also because I needed to improve my skills in this essential discipline in being a modern composer. It is impossible to work without being able to present directors, producers, and game developers with fully produced tracks, made with samples, BEFORE they decide to record with a full orchestra or ensemble. It is no small task, for a budding composer, to learn both the discipline of composition and masterful MIDI sequencing. The balance between learning both has been a rewarding challenge over the last year +.
I was familiar with this piece as it is incredibly well known, but I still remember sitting in class that day actually fighting tears brought on by the piece’s profound beauty. I later found that the recording we were referencing was from one of my favorite conductors, Michael Tilson Thomas, and the San Francisco Symphony.
This piece was profound for me.
I discovered things about string writing that so many young composers have discovered before. This piece takes you on your own journey. It provides me a way to revisit feelings of melancholy and beauty that I have never shared with anyone.
I have included my humble attempt at reproducing part of this masterpiece. I consider this project an important step on my journey toward creating my own masterpiece.