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Donald Macleod charts Barber's final years, troubled by alcoholism and creative blocks, and assesses the effect on the composer of one of the great disasters of operatic history.

When Barber got the call from the New York Met asking him to provide the first opera in its new theatre Barber realised it was potentially the defining moment of his career. Sadly it turned out to be one of the great disasters of operatic history. Donald Macleod assesses the effect all of this had on the composer, and charts his final years troubled by alcoholism and creative blocks.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 2 Sep 2011 18:00

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Music Played

  • Samuel Barber

    The Daisies Op.2 no.1

    Performers: Leontyne Price (soprano), Samuel Barber (piano)

    • RCA09026 61983 2.
    • 12.
  • Samuel Barber

    Night Flight Op.19a

    Performers: London Symphony Orchestra, David Measham (conductor)

    • UNICORN UKCD2046.
    • 4.
  • Samuel Barber

    Antony and Cleopatra: Scene 4

    Performers: Robert Grayson (Caesar), Jeffrey Wells (Antony), Eric Halfvarson (Enobarbus), David Hamilton (Dolabella), Esther Hinds (Cleopatra), Westminster Choir, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Christian Badea (conductor)

    • NEW WORLD NW32223242.
    • 8 to 10.
  • Samuel Barber

    O Boundless Boundless Evening Op.45 no.3

    Performers: Thomas Hampson (baritone), John Browning (piano)

    • DG 4348672.
    • 26.
  • Samuel Barber

    Capricorn Concerto: Last movement

    Performers: John Gracie (trumpet), Karen Jones (flute), Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Marin Alsop (conductor)

    • NAXOS 8.559135.
    • 3.
  • Samuel Barber

    Knoxville: Summer of 1915 op.24

    Performers: Sylvia McNair (soprano), Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Yoel Levi (conductor)

    • TELARC CD80250.
    • 2.

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