278 cellists playing ‘Adagio for Strings’ from 29 countries is everything the world needs

30 September 2020, 17:26

278 cellists play ‘Adagio for Strings’ from 29 countries
278 cellists play ‘Adagio for Strings’ from 29 countries. Picture: Tony Rogers/YouTube

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

This is wonderful – 278 cellists, all recording from their homes, play Barber’s Adagio for Strings while many concert halls around the world remain closed.

We’re all missing the power, excitement and intimacy of live performance.

One cellist decided to use this very difficult time for musicians to bring together cellists from around the world and create something beautiful during pandemic times.

Tony Rogers chose Samuel Barber’s deeply emotional Adagio for Strings for the tenth video in his COVID Cello Project, uniting cellists in one special moment.

It’s a moving sight, seeing the poignant melody ringing out from cellos in bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens.

Read more: 40 socially-distanced singers performing ‘Spem in alium’ is profoundly uplifting >

As the piece goes on, more and more cellists appear on screen.

You suddenly get a sense of the scale – not only of this particular project, but the number of musicians out there in this world who are deeply missing the chance to share their music with the world.

Halfway through the video, we begin to see dedications to lost, loved ones of the cellists.

The solemn, heart-wrenching sadness of Barber’s Adagio has lent itself to a powerful range of uses beyond the concert hall, including memorials. Most famously, it was played at the funeral of the great Albert Einstein.

You can donate to Tony’s project here.