Voting Station

Samuel Barber

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The Resume

    (March 9, 1910-January 23, 1981)
    Born in West Chester, Pennsylvania
    Best known work was ‘Adagio for Strings’ (1936)
    Won two Pulitzer Prizes for Music for the opera ‘Vanessa’ (1958) and ‘Concerto for Piano and Orchestra’ (1963)
    Other works include ‘Dover Beach’ (1931), ‘Music for a Scene from Shelley’ (1933), ‘Medea’ (1946), ‘Knoxville: Summer of 1915’ (1948), ‘Hermit Songs’ (1953), ‘Prayers of Kierkegaard’ (1954), ‘A Hand of Bridge’ (1959) and ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ (1966)

Why he might be annoying:

    He suffered bouts of depression.
    He called his Violin Concerto ‘the Soap Concerto’ since a soap manufacturer had commissioned it for his violinist son.
    Critic and composer Virgil Thomson dismissed him as a composer for ‘high middlebrow tastes.’
    He said about the ‘Adagio for Strings,’ ‘They always play that piece. I wish they’d play some of my other pieces.’
    He did little composing after the disastrous premier of his opera ‘Antony and Cleopatra.’

Why he might not be annoying:

    He became the organist at his local church at age twelve.
    ‘Adagio for Strings’ has been called ‘our national music of mourning,’ having been played at several state funerals and 9/11 Ground Zero ceremonies.
    His ‘Vanessa’ was acclaimed as the first American ‘grand opera.’
    Some critics suggest that the failure of ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ was caused by director Franco Zeffirelli’s elaborate production, which overwhelmed the music.
    His response to critics who considered his music old-fashioned: ‘I can only say that I myself wrote always as I wished, without a tremendous desire to find the latest thing possible.’

Credit: C. Fishel

Featured in the following Annoying Collections:

Year In Review:

    In 2023, Out of 1 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2021, Out of 11 Votes: 54.55% Annoying
    In 2020, Out of 7 Votes: 71.43% Annoying
    In 2019, Out of 10 Votes: 70.0% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 30 Votes: 60.0% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 10 Votes: 80.0% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 8 Votes: 87.50% Annoying
    In 2015, Out of 18 Votes: 83.33% Annoying
    In 2014, Out of 43 Votes: 65.12% Annoying
    In 2013, Out of 21 Votes: 66.67% Annoying