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saturday song: barber: adagio for strings

i'm not sad, i promise, but sometimes i'm just in the mood to listen to some music that moves me, that can suddenly and almost supernaturally pull me from the grit and gravity of merely existing into the full-on wildness of true living. we need music to interrupt our processes, to distract us from our details, and to stop us dead in our tracks sometimes. we need music that marries spirit and sound in our ears and in our hearts and in the spaces between us, to remind us that there is something more significant than status quo.

this piece in particular is one that, at least for me, seems to speak very clearly about both the aching brokenness of life, as well as the critical beauty of grace worth believing in. it is haunting and glorious and hopeful.

it was written by a man named samuel barber in the 1930's, originally as a string quartet, although you mostly hear it today done by a whole string orchestra. it is called 'adagio for strings' and was the second movement of his "string quartet opus 11." this particular adagio has become quite famous, and you may have heard it in any number of film and tv shows, ususally set to some particuarly melancholy scene. it was also notably played on the radio at the announcement of the death of franklin d. roosevelt, and at the funeral of albert einstein.

the version below is a full 9 minutes long, and i know that seems like a long time, but if you have some good speakers (i suggest headphones), simply let it carry you away and i promise that it will be 9 minutes of your life that have been very well invested. listen, yearn, and believe.




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