Samuel Barber, Adagio for Strings

I’m kind of going through some crap right now. I can’t/won’t talk about it, but I’ll put up my one of my favorite defense mechanisms and change the subject.

One (or a few) of you tagged me in a note on facebook: The 10 Songs I Can’t Live Without. I’ve been filing through the songs in my brain for the past two weeks trying to complete the list. So, I guess since this doesn’t involve anything too deeply and recently personal, I’m going to post a song from this list for the next ten days. They’re in no particular order, but with songs this massive, they don’t need to be. They can be on shuffle and I won’t need to skip ahead to another song. And they can play on repeat forever. Folks, this is my infinite playlist.

The first piece I’ll mention is Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. The passion, the tension, the swelling and shrinking of the melody are astounding and inimitable. It’s one of the perfect songs for me and my life. It has the right combination of dissonance and resolution, grandeur and lowly depths. It starts ethereally, like a single breath, and fades away just the same. And then, after the silence settles, I give myself permission to exhale, slowly. This piece presses against my heart and lodges a sob in the back of my throat, ready to burst at any time, but won’t, quite.

Experiencing Adagio for Strings is one of the best ways to spend ten and a half minutes.

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