Samuel Barber, BARBER: Knoxville: Summer of 1915 / Essays for Orchestra Nos 2 and 3

Gavin Borchert

By Gavin Borchert

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A gentle and nostalgic reminiscence of a Southern childhood.

For his extended song Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (for soprano with orchestral accompaniment), Samuel Barber set a text by James Agee, a gentle and nostalgic reminiscence of his Southern childhood: porches, streetcars, lying on the grass in the backyard looking at the stars. Karina Gauvin's intimate delivery floats along on a lilting, ravishing cushion of orchestral sound led by Marin Alsop.