Adagio in G minor

Adagio in G minor

Adagio in G minor for strings and organ is a piece composed by Remo Giazotto and first published in 1958.

It was supposedly based on a fragment from a Sonata in G minor by Tomaso Albinoni purportedly found amongst the ruins of the old Saxon State Library, Dresden, after it was firebombed by the Allies during World War II. It is usually referred to as "Albinoni's Adagio", or "Adagio in G minor by Albinoni, arranged by Giazotto", but it is Giazotto's original work, and contains no Albinoni material [Letter from the Saxon State Library (consultant Marina Lang), 24 September 1990, reproduced in facsimile by Wulf Dieter Lugert and Volker Schütz, „Adagio à la Albinoni“, Praxis des Musikunterrichts 53 (February 1998), pp. 13–22, here 15.] .

The "Adagio" is most commonly orchestrated for string ensemble and organ, or string ensemble alone.

Contemporary performances and popular culture use

The "Adagio in G minor" has achieved a level of fame such that it is commonly transcribed for other instruments, and used in popular culture, for example as background music for films ("Gallipoli", 1981, which is set in 1915–1916 during the World War I battle of the same name) and television programs and in advertisements.

In the American rock band The Doors' album, "An American Prayer", Jim Morrison recites poetry with what seems to be an adapted musical arrangement of the "Adagio in G minor" being played in the background for the song "Feast of Friends." Yngwie Malmsteen's "Icarus Dream Suite Op. 4" is inspired and based mainly on Adagio in G minor. The piece was also used by DJ Tiesto for the song "Athena," on the album "Parade of the Athletes".

Use in film

The Adagio was used:
* as an underlying score for Orson Welles' film adaption of Kafka's "The Trial" (1962)
* in the original version of the film "Rollerball" (1975)
* in the 1981 Peter Weir film "Gallipoli", which was themed around the famous World War I battle of the same name.
* as a recurring theme in Rudolf Thome's film Rote Sonne from 1969.


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