Samuel Barber Influences

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Samuel Barber’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Op. 14 was one of the world’s most striking, rhythmic, and melodic works of musical literature. Samuel Barber composed the Concerto in 1939 at a period of time after the Great Depression when other American contemporary composers were creating conservative music that defined the era. Three of the influences that inspired Barber’s music and how students were instructed to perform Barber’s violin Concerto were most important to the prominence of this composer. Samuel Osborne Barber II was born on March 9, 1910 in West Chester, PA. Growing up in a small town that was deeply rooted in conservative Quaker tradition, Barber’s love of music at an early age was acceptable by community standards, however,…show more content…
Homer was also the husband of famed operatic contralto, Louise Homer. Under Sidney Homer’s guidance, Barber developed a style and quality to his compositions that became an earmark for his artistic and creative expression throughout his life. When Barber reflected on his career, he said, “I myself wrote always as I wished and without a tremendous desire to find the latest thing possible… I wrote as I wanted to for myself’’ (3). In this quote, Barber provided evidence that he did not write according to the musical trends of the time, but rather from his personal experiences of formal and traditional training, European influences, and his relationship with Sidney Homer. Barber’s most well-known concerto, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Op. 14 was the manifestation of these experiences. There were numerous conflicting accounts swirling around the creation of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Op. 14, composed by Samuel Barber, however, the most widely acceptable account was that Barber was commissioned by Samuel S. Fels, Philadelphian philanthropist and heir to the Fels-Naptha soap dynasty. Fels wanted Barber to compose a piece for the violin for his protégé, Isaak (Iso) Briselli for a premier by the Philadelphia Orchestra

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