Samuel Barber: The Composer and His Music

I’ve long been a fan of Samuel Barber’s music but have until now only known well a handful of pieces. Recently I decided I wanted to know more about his life and works and so checked out the book Samuel Barber : The Composer and His Music from the public library. It’s the first composer biography I have read in a while and although maybe only a hundred pages in, I’ve been enjoying the book immensely.

Reading about Barber in his youth, I was particularly inspired by his being so well-read and being such an eloquent writer himself in his letters. The time and era he lived in really seems like such a different place(though his lament that Europeans were so much more aware of Classical music doesn’t seem so distant), and I found myself drawn in to the character of the society written about as much as the biographical accounts.

It’s been great to find out more of the historical details of the works I’ve long enjoyed, and perhaps more so being exposed to works of his I haven’t yet spent time with, and now am doing so(the Serenade for Strings is quite lovely).
Hopefully this week I will be finishing up the piece I have been working on (with time after to listen and make sure all is well), and when that is finished I think I will have to devote some time to exploring Barber’s scores as well as to become a little more acquainted with the world of poetry (there’s something very inspiring about Barber’s connection with poetry, and it’s a world I simply don’t know very well and I think would enjoy getting to know.)

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