Samuel Barber - Agnus Dei [HD]

  • Published: 01 June 2011
  • Please avoid posting comments about Samuel Barber's sexuality and enjoy the music! Any hateful comments will be removed.

    Composer: Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
    Performed here by: The Dale Warland Singers

    About this song:

    Samuel Barber rejected many arrangements, of Adagio for Strings, published by G. Schirmer, such as the organ arrangement by William Strickland. However he did transcribe the piece in 1967 for eight-part choir, as a setting of the Agnus Dei ("Lamb of God").

    Adagio for Strings (the string version of this piece) can be heard on many film, TV, and video game soundtracks, including Oliver Stone's Oscar-winning film "Platoon", David Lynch's 1980 Oscar-nominated film "The Elephant Man", Michael Moore's documentary "Sicko", "Swimming Upstream", "Lorenzo's Oil", "A Very Natural Thing", "Reconstruction", and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Oscar-nominated 2001 film "Amélie". It has been heard in episodes of The Simpsons, Big Brother 2010 (UK), That Mitchell and Webb Look, The Boondocks, South Park, How I Met Your Mother, Seinfeld, ER (TV series), Red Dwarf, Big Love, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. A recorded performance by the London Symphony Orchestra was, for a time, the highest selling classical piece on iTunes. This choral version, Agnus Dei, can be heard in the soundtrack to the PC video game Homeworld (released in 1999, awarded with the Game of the Year accolade from the PC Gamer magazine). The work is extremely popular in the electronic dance music genre, notably in trance. Artists who have covered it include Armin van Buuren, William Orbit, Ferry Corsten, and Tiësto. eRa included this song in their new album Classics. Adagio is the final song on the final collaborative Peter, Paul and Mary album "Peter Paul and Mary, With Symphony Orchestra". Mary Travers had requested that Adagio be played at her memorial service. It was also played at the Royal Albert Concert Hall on the 15th September 2001 in memorial of the attacks on America that shook the world four days beforehand.

    About the photograph:

    Saint Paul's Cathedral, London, during the Blitz. This cathedral has survived despite being targeted during the Blitz - it was struck by bombs on 10 October 1940 and 17 April 1941. On 12 September 1940 a time-delayed bomb that had struck the cathedral was successfully defused and removed by a bomb disposal detachment of Royal Engineers under the command of Temporary Lieutenant Robert Davies. Had this bomb detonated, it would have totally destroyed the cathedral, as it left a 100-foot (30 m) crater when it was later remotely detonated in a secure location. As a result of this action, Davies was awarded the George Cross, along with Sapper George Cameron Wylie.

    On 29 December 1940, the cathedral had another close call when an incendiary bomb became lodged in the lead shell of the dome but fell outwards onto the Stone Gallery and was put out before it could ignite the dome timbers. One of the most iconic images of London during the war was a photograph of St Paul's taken the same day by photographer Herbert Mason (in this video), from the roof of the Daily Mail in Tudor Street showing the cathedral shrouded in smoke.

    Lisa Jardine of Queen Mary, University of London has written:
    Wreathed in billowing smoke, amidst the chaos and destruction of war, the pale dome stands proud and glorious - indomitable. At the height of that air-raid, Sir Winston Churchill telephoned the Guildhall to insist that all fire-fighting resources be directed at St Paul's. The cathedral must be saved, he said, damage to the fabric would sap the morale of the country.

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Comments • 623

  • SilvaMorasten
    SilvaMorasten  3 years back

    Hi, thank you for the description of the context of this composition. Anyway, I love this piece so much.

    • lauren statham
      lauren statham  3 years back

      when you have Vietnam flashbacks....

      • 24 Karrots
        24 Karrots  3 years back

        Beautiful image and the song is magnificent!

        • Rai Oliveira
          Rai Oliveira  3 years back

          Sublime, uma música celestial.

          • randomizerca
            randomizerca  3 years back

            Is this St Paul's during the bombing?

            • TheWackokid1974
              TheWackokid1974  3 years back

              Please correct me if I'm mistaken, but is this Adagio for Strings with angelic vocals?

              • David D'Arcy
                David D'Arcy  3 years back

                I do appreciate your comments. I completely agree with your comments regarding homosexuality, i.e. "...We're all here to appreciate the music gay or straight. Where does sexual orientation come into the discussion?..." How true.

                As a man of orthodox evangelical Christian faith, I certainly have strong views on the subject of homosexuality, but I never share my 'opinions' unless asked (direct answers to direct questions, etc). It saddens me how my fellow professing Christians use the bible as a weapon, rather than what it's [bible] is, or suppose to be, a love letter to God's creation. But that is for another discussion and certainly not for a music appreciation discussion.

                • Charles Skip Orr
                  Charles Skip Orr  3 years back

                  an amazing composition.....

                  • AJ Ward
                    AJ Ward  3 years back

                    There is something about Samuel Barber's Adiago String pieces that just make your heart twinge. The song truly feels like a cry from humanity's soul more so than Samuel Barber's. As if he heard the song and replicated that harmonious cry for peace. There is this feeling of regret of not being able to obtain peace. We all want that peace within our families, friends, counties, cities, states, countries, continents and Earth herself.At some point our fighting will stop but hopefully it will stop when we see peace and not when we see the end of humanity.

                    • Mae Carlson
                      Mae Carlson  3 years back

                      So moving. Thank you.

                      • Marthann Howes
                        Marthann Howes  3 years back


                        • Rafael Nascimento
                          Rafael Nascimento  3 years back

                          musica maravilhosa. Calmante sonoro

                          • nonameblues
                            nonameblues  3 years back

                            That is a fantastic photograph. Surely it must be considered a miracle that the cathedral survived that awful time..

                            • esther Szalay
                              esther Szalay  3 years back

                              Heavenly! Thank you

                              • Jeik Jonk
                                Jeik Jonk  3 years back

                                Nothing's left.....everything's gone.....Kharak is burning.

                                • Brian Schwartz
                                  Brian Schwartz  3 years back

                                  .....can people once, just once, set aside the political agendas and vendettas and just enjoy the music? I suppose not....

                                  • pascal lindemann
                                    pascal lindemann  3 years back

                                    #SamuelBarber - Agnus Dei tks for sharing TheJazzRoom

                                    • Yolo's VLOG
                                      Yolo's VLOG  3 years back

                                      Divine music

                                      • Mary Emmons
                                        Mary Emmons  3 years back

                                        Such a magnificent work this. Makes you feel like there is a heavenly presence in the room. Beautiful!

                                        • Jack Fletcher
                                          Jack Fletcher  3 years back

                                          Why do a lot of composers gurn and grimace when conducting music?

                                          • Maurice Reix
                                            Maurice Reix  3 years back

                                            La musique na pas de.....Merci "Sam"

                                            • Xaevryn
                                              Xaevryn  3 years back

                                              This melody is so simple, and yet so powerful. Truly a masterpiece.

                                              • Alain Trillaud
                                                Alain Trillaud  3 years back

                                                Oustanding! Gets on me every time and bring some fond memories.

                                                • carolina
                                                  carolina  3 years back

                                                  • Crazy Basturd
                                                    Crazy Basturd  3 years back

                                                    it is odd even as a musician myself, how we as a human race find so much beauty within the expression of great sorrow, shame, and struggle for self identity. I have been drawn to the human condition and the deepest need for self expression not within words but within the vibrations that resonate within myself. The truth is this piece like so many others does not derive from religious beliefs or even from sexual orientation but from deep within the core of the composer that expresses the very moment of its creation and sums up that moment. That it touches so many is due to the very connection to their core that reflects their own vibrations.

                                                    • Juan fibiger
                                                      Juan fibiger  3 years back

                                                      hermoso, mis oídos mortales, agradecidos.

                                                      • Harrier997
                                                        Harrier997  3 years back

                                                        it will always reminds me The Elephant Man scene when John Merrick is building his own church model only by using memory, so intense, so beautiful.

                                                        • MsSoundguy
                                                          MsSoundguy  3 years back

                                                          Thank you for this. I loved the Dale Warland Singers. I directed this once...not with the Warland singers, but with a good group. Nevertheless, the hardest thing was trying to figure out when to breathe. Strings don't have that problem; singers do. This is so gorgeous. Thank you agin.

                                                          • Dellani Oakes
                                                            Dellani Oakes  3 years back

                                                            Absolutely beautiful. Thank you.

                                                            • Patricia Sunderhus
                                                              Patricia Sunderhus  3 years back

                                                              wonderful, masterpiece

                                                              • Cleiton ??
                                                                Cleiton ??  3 years back

                                                                Magnífico.. é BR ouvindo música boa tbm

                                                                • Sara Crovetti
                                                                  Sara Crovetti  3 years back

                                                                  Dal minuto 6.10 ti trasporta direttamente in paradiso

                                                                  • Sara Crovetti
                                                                    Sara Crovetti  3 years back

                                                                    sublime e celestiale

                                                                    • Veronica Denyer
                                                                      Veronica Denyer  3 years back

                                                                      What an exquisite piece of music. I would have loved to sing this - I used to sing in our University choir but (sob) we never did this. It makes the hairs on my neck stand up on end. Just gorgeous. Barber's ability to create magnificent music is superb. Sigh!!

                                                                      • Jim Godsell
                                                                        Jim Godsell  3 years back

                                                                        Anyone else here because of homeworld ?

                                                                        • mfaizsyahmi.
                                                                          mfaizsyahmi.  3 years back

                                                                          Homeworld, anyone? I remember the trailer coming with the Half-Life CD. Very awe-inspiring music indeed!

                                                                          • Jean.Yves LE.GUILLOU
                                                                            Jean.Yves LE.GUILLOU  3 years back

                                                                            La musique que j' aimerai entendre quand je ne serai plus là ;;;;;;;;;;;;;

                                                                            • Yolanda Jannes
                                                                              Yolanda Jannes  3 years back

                                                                              MÚSICA TRAÍDA DE LA FUENTE MISMA DEL ESPÍRITU. GRATITUD

                                                                              • Geraldo CJr
                                                                                Geraldo CJr  3 years back

                                                                                Sad. Serious. Like the life.

                                                                                • ncpiedmontone
                                                                                  ncpiedmontone  3 years back

                                                                                  compellingly beautiful......... the photo is perfect.......

                                                                                  • Mérové Touchstone
                                                                                    Mérové Touchstone  3 years back

                                                                                    Kharak is burning

                                                                                    • Mr.Myriad
                                                                                      Mr.Myriad  3 years back

                                                                                      The highs and lows of humanity... it's painfully beautiful.

                                                                                      • Pam Clarke
                                                                                        Pam Clarke  3 years back

                                                                               one another as I have loved you...someone is lying..!!!

                                                                                        • TheJulSta
                                                                                          TheJulSta  3 years back

                                                                                          May I take this song for my own video, in which I show scenes of a church?

                                                                                          • Regal Johnston
                                                                                            Regal Johnston  3 years back

                                                                                            Homosexuality being wrong?! Nothing is wrong because there is no standard of morality except the ones we invent ourselves and those standards are set within an extremely limited experience and scope of all that is. We are a part of the universe that has woken up to look at itself and before we became sentient measuring devices, we were chemicals that had no concept of morality... and one day after you've done a lot of good and a lot of bad you'll be chemicals once more and none of that will matter. So make the most of your fleeting moment of consciousness and try to not judge everything under the sun because nothing really matters, just enjoy the beauty.

                                                                                            • Stephen Kilduff
                                                                                              Stephen Kilduff  3 years back

                                                                                              Who really cares... Why does it matter?

                                                                                              • gugolero
                                                                                                gugolero  3 years back

                                                                                                Sin palabras

                                                                                                • franco tregambe
                                                                                                  franco tregambe  3 years back

                                                                                                  capolavoro assoluto