Samuel Osmond Barber II (March 9, 1910 – January 23, 1981) was an American composer of orchestral, opera, choral, and piano music. He is one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century; music critic Donal Henahan stated, "Probably no other American composer has ever enjoyed such early, such persistent and such long-lasting acclaim."
His "Adagio for Strings" (1936) has earned a permanent place in the concert repertory of orchestras. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music twice: for his opera Vanessa (1956–57) and for the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1962). Also widely performed is his Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (1947), a setting for soprano and orchestra of a prose text by James Agee. At the time of Barber's death, nearly all of his compositions had been recorded.
This superb arrangement for organ was done by William Strickland in 1939, and published by G. Schirmer, Inc.
William Strickland (1914-1991) was a major player in the musical world of New York in
the first half of the 20th century, and not just within organists’ circles. But it was as an organist that he got his start, first as a chorister at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and later as the organist of Christ Church, Bronxville, NY and of Calvary Church in New York City.
In this performance, I've "avoided organ sounds" as much as possible. The "featured voices" are the phenomenal Solo strings, and the "highest-pitched" stop is the 4' flute of the Swell, which only appears towards the end.
I will tell you that the Salisbury tremulants, particularly the Choir one, are VERY noisy, so, you'll have to "hear through" that sound.
I've tried to produce a "string orchestra feeling," and I was pretty pleased with the effect.
I think I like this at a slightly faster tempo, but I slowed mine down some, after hearing a few orchestral recordings.
I hope this brings enjoyment and comfort during this dark time - which WILL end eventually!
Photos of Barber and Strickland attached below.