Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings Op.11 is humanity’s lament for unimaginable loss and unfulfilled longing. Beautiful and breathtaking, this slowly unfolding anthem surprises with unexpected and yet, delivered hope. Smetana’s String Quartet No. 1 – with its subtitle “From My Life” indicates his deep connection to this personal musical memoir. In four movements of autobiographical melodic themes, Bedřich Smetana exposes his life’s unfolding passion for art and music, romance, and marriage. The morning program concludes with the stunningly beautiful Vaughn Williams’ Piano Quintet in C Minor. Composed in 1903 and first performed in London in 1905, the quintet was then hidden from the public until after Vaughn Williams’ death and finally performed again in 1999 at the Royal College of Music. Opening with a four-chord sequence defining the melodic theme, this exciting piano and string music quickly moves from its bold thematic announcement to lush explorations of rich harmonies. NMF is proud to present this rarely heard masterpiece in its Festival debut.