Monday, January 24, 2011

Early Success

Born 9 March 1910 in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Samuel Barber started composing at age 7 and attempted his first opera at age 10. He was only 28 when he wrote his master piece, Adagio for Strings. That was in 1938. Barber was very productive after that, but none of his works achieved similar recognition. After the harsh rejection of his third opera Antony and Cleopatra which he believed contained some of his best music, he was diagnosed with clinical depression.


  1. This theme should be faced together with Richard David Precht in his talkshow. Together with Constantinus Magnus

  2. Enviousness and malevolence of the cultural environment grow continuously, that makes the reiteration of early success unreachable. There is only a handful of exceptional cases. I wonder how Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy succeeded. Apart of his talent he must have had an appealing charisma and an exemplary modesty.

  3. Claudio Baglioni, Pino Daniele, Paolo Conte, Enrico Ruggieri, Giorgio Gaber etc. etc. have continued to mature aging and to become better than they were at their early success. This is just normal in Italy, but it is not any more normal in northern countries, especially those belonging to the angle-saxon and germanic cultur group.

    But even in Italy this is normal only for entertaining music!!

    In Italy we had as well a Luigi Nono (and I am proud to have shouted "Go back to work as a lawyer!!" after one of his first executions at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence). Yet Samuel Barber wouldn't have had aesthetic obstacles in Italy!! But he would have got probably depressions as well, since he would have had to face the cultural nepotism, which even for a talented foreigner can be impermeable, if he didn't become member of an important family marrying the right person.