Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Adagio for Strings, Op 11


Barber’s most enduring legacy is, of course, the Adagio from his string quartet Op 11. He had considerable difficulty in arriving at a shape for the quartet with which he was happy. He seemed though, to know immediately that the Adagio would work, writing in September 1936, “… just finished the slow movement of my quartet today—it is a knockout!”. Having met the composer some years before in Italy, it was Toscanini who asked Barber for a piece he might present at an NBC Symphony Orchestra broadcast to feature new American music. As well as composing the Essay for Orchestra Op 12 for Toscanini, Barber made this transcription of the quartet’s slow movement for full strings, and both it and the Essay received their first performances with the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Toscanini’s baton on 5th November 1938. The Adagio’s huge popularity may have irked him (though probably not his bank manager!), considering the wide range of his output. In an interview with Allan Kozinn (High Fidelity, June 1981) Barber said: “Sometimes I get tired of hearing the Adagio for Strings. But I amuse myself during performances because I know there’s going to be a mistake somewhere. Happens everytime.”

from notes by Adam Chambers © 2011


Organ Dreams, Vol. 2 - Ripon Cathedral
CDA67146Last few CD copies remaining
Walton & Barber: Violin Concertos
SIGCD238Download only


Track 14 on CDA67146 [8'04] Last few CD copies remaining
Track 9 on SIGCD238 [8'52] Download only

Track-specific metadata

Click track numbers above to select
Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...