May we never forget Thomas Schippers. One of the greatest of all American conductors, he graced this earth with his brilliance until 1977, when he died of lung cancer at the age of 47.
This CD, which contains recordings from the early to mid '60's, is a wonderful tribute to him.
He championed, and had a great affinity for the music of Samuel Barber, as this disc will prove. His performance of the gorgeous "Adagio for Strings" is sublime, and by far the best I've heard. I also love "Medea's Dance of Vengance" and "The School for Scandal" Overture. "Andromache's Farewell" features Martina Arroyo (early in her career, at age 27), and her powerful soprano is perfect for this piece.
On this CD one also gets a short and sprightly Gian Carlo Menotti overture, a terrific (also very short) Berg interlude, and the closing d'Indy composition is slow, peaceful, and dreamy.
The booklet has a fair amount of information, including a piece by Menotti, and photos of Schippers (as handsome as a movie star), and Barber.
The total time is 71:22 and the sound is excellent. This was a surprise gift for which I'm very grateful, and I'll be playing it often...now, and way into the future.