Sublime Music in the Face of Tragedy

“Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings begins softly, with a single note, a B flat, played by the violins. Two beats later the lower strings enter, creating an uneasy, shifting suspension as the melody begins a stepwise motion, like the hesitant climbing of stairs. In around eight minutes the piece is over, harmonically unresolved, never coming to rest. If any music can come close to conveying the effect of a sigh, or courage in the face of tragedy, or hope, or abiding love, it is this.”

Johanna Keller, arts journalist, via

While writing on a whole different topic, this article caught my attention and did not let go: Natalia Strelchenko, a celebrated Russian pianist, brutally murdered by her controlling husband in August last year, has returned to the news because of the ongoing murder trial, which will be resolved this coming Monday. As a victim of very similar circumstances, even though I was lucky to find a way out before it was too late, I experienced a huge wave of empathy and a deep feeling of communion with her while reading her story today.  May her soul rest in peace now.


John William Waterhouse, “Saint Eulalia”

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4 Responses to Sublime Music in the Face of Tragedy

  1. Bostjan says:

    adagio for strings, a wonderful piece of music….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. herongrace says:

    I feel a bit floored, and the other. Wow Monika! I love Samuel Barber’s adagio. To me it shows the Soul’s ascension to Heaven, Also “The Lark ascending” by Vaughan Williams and the John Taverner piece can’t remember title played at Princess Diana’s funeral. Shocked to hear what you have been through and feeling a tiny piece of your pain. Always remember you are an exceptional Light with a definite purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

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