Adagio for Strings is originally a work by Samuel Barber, arranged for string orchestra from the second movement of his String Quartet, Op. 11. Barber finished the arrangement in 1936, the same year as he wrote the quartet. It was performed for the first time in 1938, in a radio broadcast from a New York studio attended by an invited audience.
It begins with a B-flat played by violins, leading to the lower strings’ entrance. The rhythm is mainly compressed with sustained notes, and Barber uses some unusual time signatures including 4/2, 5/2, 6/4, and 3/2.
This work is extremely popular in the electronic dance music genre, notably in trance.Artists who have covered it include Armin van Buuren, Escala, William Orbit, Ferry Corsten, and Tiësto.
The original work by Samuel Barber: