Andrei Strizek

Music | Musings

Barnes Symphony 3 - For Natalie

I was listening to some wind band music I haven't listened to in a while tonight, while reading for class, and this piece came up on my playlist:


Since the first time I heard it I found it to be immensely simple and beautiful, and I still feel that way. I don't listen to it very often so I don't lose an emotional connection with it.

This performance is by the US Air Force Band, off their Excursions album. I've never heard the piece performed live, but I hope to some day.

Barnes wrote this symphony in reaction to the death of his infant daughter. From the program notes:

The third movement, subtitled For Natalie, is a chorale, soft and passionate, depicting what the composer thought his life would have been had his daughter lived. This movement is a huge orchestral lament for the death of his beloved Natalie, who was still an infant when she died. Barnes injects his own personal experience in dealing with this loss throughout this whole movement. From feelings of despair to perhaps what could be seen as renewed hope in life…

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