Years ago, I learned that Samuel Barber composed his most famous pieces (including the jaw-dropping “Adagio for Strings”) when he was a very young man. And then – he lived to be quite old. I’ve since wondered why was Mr. Barber’s creative output so heavily focused in his younger years? Did his creative energy wane? Did he grow bored with composing? Did he have nothing left to say?
After spending the last five days updating my song catalogs and choral arrangement data bases, filing away stacks of scores, and scanning paper information into digital bits and bytes – I think maybe Mr. Barber was simply swamped with paperwork. By the age of thirty, he had written a half-dozen classical “standards.” Maybe after that, he spent his all his days filing forms, and following up on publishing details, leaving him no free time to compose any more masterpieces.
OK – so that’s probably not the reason. But right now – to me – it’s as good an explanation as any.