The Saddest Music Ever Written (Hardcover)

By Thomas Larson

Pegasus Books, 9781605981154, 272pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 2010

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (3/12/2012)

List Price: 26.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


About the Author

Thomas Larson is the author of The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing Personal Narrative. For twelve years, he has been a staff writer for the San Diego Reader where he specializes in profiles, narrative nonfiction, and investigative journalism. A dynamic speaker, Larson presents workshops on memoir writing and lectures on Samuel Barber’s music throughout the country. he lives in San Diego with his partner Suzanna Neal.


Praise For The Saddest Music Ever Written

This is a wonderful examination of the effects of an artistic artifact on culture and, conversely, the various uses (undreamt of by the composer) to which the music has been put by others. It is also a personal testament to the power of a cultural artifact on an individual. Highly recommended.

If Aaron Copland was the Updike of American music, then Samuel Barber was its Cheever. Larson provides a rich biographical context for Barber’s fervid creativity.

Written with great compassion and earnestness. An intimate history of this great work of music. it is the soundtrack
of the soul.
— Phyllis Nordstrom

Rarely, if ever, have nine minutes of music been subjected
to such intense cultural, historical, and emotional analysis.
— Eugene Drucker, violinist, The Emerson String Quartet

An exploration of a fascinating composer, a case study in
the cultural appropriation of works of art, and a very personal meditation on the power of music.
— Kevin Bazzana, author of Lost Genius