9 Aug 2018

BARBER: The School for Scandal Overture

From Music Alive, 8:00 pm on 9 August 2018

Barber's first composition for orchestra - a 'musical reflection' of Sheridan's play of intrigue and glittering repartee.

Performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Tobias Ringborg, Auckland Town Hall, 9 August 2018.

Hugh Thomson illustration for Richard Sheridan's The School for Scandal

Hugh Thomson illustration for Richard Sheridan's The School for Scandal Photo: Public Domain

Barber’s first composition for orchestra: his Overture The School for Scandal was inspired by the Sheridan play of intrigue that’s full of conversational tennis matches and glittering repartee.

But don’t read too much into that literary allusion – Barber never admitted to any programmatic intentions for any of his works – even when they had specific literary titles.

Barber pointed out that his aim was not at all to write a literal overture – rather the piece was meant as ‘a musical reflection of the play’s spirit’.  There’s certainly no indication that he intended to write incidental music for any future production.

 He was 21 when he wrote it.

Recorded in Auckland Town Hall, 9 August 2018
Producer: Tim Dodd
Engineer: Adrian Hollay