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Adagio In G Minor
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Adagio In G Minor

Have you? Have you ever felt deep in your bones to be right, but knew it was wrong? Like knowing in your heart that there is a sunrise to the west, but running west will never present you with one. Adagio in G minor leaves you feeling just like that. Several oddities leap out and nothing quite ties together in a way that can be considered logical.

Written for strings and the organ, and often referred to as ‘Albinoni’s Adagio’, it was published in 1958. This alone should raise some eyebrows. You see, Tomaso Albinoni (the person who the work is attributed to) was an 18th century baroque composer The piece was actually written by the 20th century musicologist Remo Giazotto. He claims discovery of a manuscript fragment from Albinoni, but never produced said script, nor has it surfaced since his death in 1998.

Furthermore, Albinoni was a true baroque composer with all the grandeur and elaboration that this would lead one to imagine, and was one of the first to feature an oboe as a solo instrument. The thought of him composing a quaint, conservative chamber piece for strings, violin, and the organ just doesn’t quite hit the mark either. Combine this with the disjointed, almost searching feel of the piece itself and nothing really fits together it seems.

You see, an adagio (literally ‘at ease’ in italian) by definition means languid and graceful. In ballet, the term is used for a lead female dancer and her male counterpart, requiring slow and intricate movements. Great skill and total trust in each other create a synergy that goes beyond two people dancing together, giving one the feeling that things are … complete. The Black Swan Pas de deux from Swan Lake is an example of a true adagio. Andre Rieu performing Romantic Paradise in Tuscany is another (Ok thats not fair cause Andre Rieu performing anything ANYWHERE or listening to ANYONE performing in Cortona would have to be at the bottom of the bucket lists which means you are close to being ready to die - All thats left would be hearing Andrea Bocelli at Red Rocks - the voice of GOD pouring down a mountainside!) but I digress.

This heart wrenching piece has the feel of an endless journey, one you know has to end but never will, and a plea for completeness and understanding for something that can’t be comprehended. True pain and anguish are juxtaposed with a real sense of faith and a longing for more .. but in the end, always hope, no matter what.

None of this comes together, nor fits into any picture I can honestly come up with, maybe that’s the ultimate meaning behind it all? MAYBE we have to understand we are not complete and will never be, before we can be, well ... complete?

This deserves further thought and contemplation. I think I need to load up the boat and set sail due west and find me a sunrise! Check it out for yourself and come up with your own opinion. Maybe even let me know what you think if you can find me.

Vivere’


Street Talk

Very good article. I am surprised you are into classical music Wayne. We share one more thing in common.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Its easy to get lost with stuff like this. Thanks for the comment:)

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  about 5 years ago
C4rmen  

Amazing piece of work. Thanks for writing about it here.

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  about 5 years ago

Glad you enjoyed it!

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  about 5 years ago

I love that piece and reading your article I almost had it in my ears for real.Thank you for that lovely reading

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  about 5 years ago

Its one of my favorites also. Thank you for the comment :)

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  about 5 years ago
Barbara9  

interesting article

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thank you:)

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  about 5 years ago

Could not agree more with Chris, even if I don't know what the pair of you are talking about, just seems the right thing to say. LOL

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Do me a favor. Go run a search for 'Adagio in G minor - Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, Recorded at the Basilica of the Pannonhalma Archabbey, Hungary' and you will understand. That's probably the best I have ever seen of it.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks, Wayne--you coulda knocked me over with a feather when I saw this article. People are always telling me (because they know I like classical music) that they like classical music, too--but I think not minding too much when classical music is used in a movie or TV show isn't the same as truly liking classical music. Those who really enjoy it will usually do what you have done, discuss their favorite pieces and what they get out of them. Albinoni's Adagio falls into a rather large sub-set of Baroque compositions of which there are questions as to the actual composer and even the piece's authenticity. It is joined by Bach's (or, at least, used to be called Bach's) "Notebook for Anna Magdelena" which scholars now seem to agree is a collection of works by lesser composers which was collected by someone who stuck Bach's name on it (no doubt to increase it's marketability). Also there are the Handel Concertos--these are written as arrangements for flute and orchestra, organ and orchestra, harp and orchestra by the musician who wants to perform it--Handel only provides the lead instrument--the remainder are assumed to be played as Contra-Bass accompaniment (a music theory concept that practically writes out the accompanying orchestra's part automatically). But Albinoni's Adagio is a member of a smaller, much nicer group which, in my mind, is the sad-serenity club--joining Albinoni's Adagio in this group are: Pachelbel's Canon, Barber's Adagio for Strings (Platoon soundtrack), Bach's Concerto in d minor for two violins, Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (soundtrack to "Master and Commander"), The finale to Stravinsky's "The Firebird" (heard on the "Yes Songs"double-album), the middle movement of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27--another Adagio! and a few more. All of these works can take the place of antidepressants, sunny skies, and an unexpected windfall--they rejuvenate, they transport--but, beware, they are also very good at helping us dig even deeper into melancholy. To me, they are the crown jewels of classical music.

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  about 5 years ago

Glad you got something from it Chris. It's not a subject I get to talk about much, because it doesn't seem to be followed by many. The ONLY piece that worries me in your above mentioned club, is obviously Barber's. That has to be the most haunting piece I have ever heard. Listening to it, you can almost imagine what he saw in Germany during the war. I've seen people break down completely, without any understanding at all of the work. It is easily the saddest thing I have ever heard. Thanks for the reply:)

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  about 5 years ago

If you're interested, I made a Playlist: 'sad-serenity club' which you can hear on my 'xperdunn' channel on you-know-who-tube. (NOTE: This isn't self-promotion--I don't have any connection with these uploads.)

  
  about 5 years ago

Had to find the tune on Youtube....beautiful composition...reminded me about a line in your article about pain and anguish...enjoyed it all..

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  about 5 years ago

Really glad you enjoyed it bro!! Thanks for the read.

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  about 5 years ago

Good job bringing music to life through words. Feeling a piece of music - and sharing that. Thanks!

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  about 5 years ago

I'm happy you liked it, thank you:)

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  about 5 years ago

A beautifully written article Wayne and a summary that was the icing on the cake for me. I need to understand that I can never be complete to ironically achieve what I seek?! .... thought and contemplation indeed! A beautiful piece. Went to listen and felt the magic. My soul is in that space today. Thank you.

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  about 5 years ago

Thank you Heather, glad I could share with you all this morning. I'm getting so wrapped up in work, that I barely have time for this at the moment. It's nice to see that every now and then we can all share some ideas, maybe see something in a different light, and walk away with a smile for no other reason then its a smile.

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  about 5 years ago

Nice thought Wayne. Thanks for that.

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  about 5 years ago

Your welcome, thanks for the read.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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