Memorial for 9/11 Victims - Adagio for Strings

Leonard Slatkin conducts the BBC Orchestra on the 15th of September, 2001 in honor of all who died four days before.  They perform the Adagio for Strings, op. 11—by Samuel Barber—as part of Proms 73 at Royal Albert Hall.

This was a gut-wrenching performance for the conductor. He was in London; his wife and son were in America. When he heard about the 9/11 attacks he tried to reach his wife, to be sure that she and their son were safe. The connections were down. He could not reach her.

The day after the September 15th concert, of which this clip is just a part, he flew back to the States. It felt like he was returning to a different country:

I landed in a different country from the one I had left. People came to the concert in army fatigues - with children, bewildered.

Americans were "bewildered" at the events of September 11th. They could not understand how such a tragedy could have happened to their country.

The Proms concert, of 15 September 2001, was also broadcast live in London's Hyde Park where people could gather to watch the performances on a large screen. It was solemn, sad, beautiful and dignified all at the same time.

Slatkin selected the Adagio—which is often played at the funerals of U.S. Presidents—because it is haunting, heart-wrenching and emotionally impacting. It is a fitting piece to honor all those who lost their lives on September 11, just going about their business and living their lives the best they could.

Another moving musical work, performed that night in 2001, was Va, pensiero by Giuseppe Verdi (performed here by New York's Metropolitan Opera). It was the work that saved Verdi's career. 

We thank Maestro Slatkin and the BBC for placing this work online for everyone to watch and reflect.

Media Credits

Visuals in the clip are from BBC's "Last Night of the Proms" and ABC's "Report from Ground Zero."

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Memorial for 9/11 Victims - Adagio for Strings" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jan 19, 2020.
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