via del.icio.us/thestandingroom, the Guardian reports the number one classical music download on iTunes is Barber's Adagio for Strings. I suppose I'm not surprised as maybe 5% of all aworks traffic is Adagio-related. This includes people searching for:
- the identity of the music from Platoon
- the identify of the music played at FDR's funeral
- a free MP3 of the work, either a traditional version or the numerous dance remixes (try this search)
- a musical analysis of the work
- the reason why Barber wrote it
- how it is "arch" form
- whether or not Philip Glass wrote it
Speaking of Adagio's use in Platoon, Barbara Heyman says that Barber's partner Gian Carlo Menotti "believes Barber would not have been amused by its success in this film and might not have even allowed the Adagio to be used." She also quotes the composer Virgil Thomson as saying that it's about "a detailed love scene."
To quickly take in the piece's structure is to peek behind the curtain at the composer's technique; the work makes three attempts to the top before finally pushing through the ceiling.
Wikipedia has the definitive list of its use in popular culture including Adagio being featured in, egad, South Park.
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