Samuel Barber – Adagio for strings
For Christians, next Sunday marks the start of Holy Week. This week starts with Palm Sunday and ends with Easter Day. It is a week when Christians think about how Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead, to save the sins of the world.
This piece of classical music is written by Samuel Barber in 1936. It is a composition for stringed instruments. It is a longer piece of music and this is the second part, called the Adagio. This means 'slowly' in Italian. It is a really moving piece of music and is good to listen to in a time of reflection.
It has also been arranged for singers to perform. It is sung in Latin, and the choral arrangement (for a choir) is called 'Agnus Dei'. The words are based on something John the Baptist, a friend of Jesus, said: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). This makes it the perfect piece of music to listen to at this time of year.