Among his orchestral works are three was commissioned by the Army Air Forces while Barber served as a corporal during World War II.Three concertos for violin, violoncello, and piano reveal his grasp of instrumental idiomatic virtuosity.
This opera is more complex musically and more grandiose in scope and theatricality. His early works represent a conservative, traditional style based on European prototypes, and his later, more complex compositions remain outside experimental trends of the period.
The contemplative mood and striking beauty of the piece has caused its association with times of public mourning beginning with the radio announcement of the death of President Franklin D. It was later heard at the funerals of both Princess Grace of Monaco and Albert Einstein.
Although it was not played at the funeral of President John F.
which has become one of the most recognized pieces in contemporary orchestral music.
Samuel Barber was born on March 9, 1910, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, into a middle-class professional family.