|The game mentioned.|
I still have it.
I agree absolutely, but can anyone explain why this piece is so visceral? How do a few notes, strung together in a particular way, manage to cut through the emotions so surgically? I know music always influences the emotions - there are plenty of songs that bring a smile to the face, for example. But Adagio for Strings (and for me, even more so Barber's vocal adaptation, the Agnus Dei) is unequalled in its ability to manipulate.
A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away) one of the things I used to do to bring in the pennies was review computer games. It was as the backing track to the opening sequence of a game that I first came across this piece (back then it wasn't played on the radio anywhere near so often). The backstory of the game involved the evacuation of a planet, and as the screen showed the ship departing from a dying world, the backing track of Barber's Agnus Dei worked magnificently.
I don't know if anyone has researched it, but I'd be fascinated to know why this particular piece is so powerful.
So go on. Have a wallow: