(Samuel Barber - American composer and visionary, all hundred years worth)
Not wanting to let the weekend go by without paying tribute to one of the great American composers of the 20th Century (Samuel Barber who would have turned 100 on March 9th), I thought I would post something a little unusual and probably not heard in a very long time. Samuel Barber rehearsing the Boston Symphony Orchestra in his Symphony number 2 from June 23,1951. It's worth noting that this is probably one of the few occasions this symphony was performed, as Barber was said to have suppressed its performance from the early 1950s on, making this rehearsal not only unique but no doubt historic.
I've always been fascinated by the process; how things evolve, how an artistic work is shaped. And listening to a composer conduct his own work makes the end result of the that work come alive.
Unfortunately this broadcast, part of the NBC Radio series Boston Symphony In Rehearsal is just a half hour long - that was all the time allotted by the network. So even though it's not the entire rehearsal, which no doubt lasted several hours, it offers a interesting glimpse into the evolution of a performance. And Samuel Barber the musician.