"Pas de deux" from Souviners

by Samuel Barber

One might imagine a divertissement in a setting reminiscent of the Palm Court of the Plaza Hotel in New York, the year about 1914, epoch of the first tangos; ‘Souvenirs’ — remembered with affection, not in irony or with tongue in cheek, but in amused tenderness.
— Samuel Barber

So said Samuel Barber of his collection of evocative duets, written in 1952 but redolent of the past. These musical miniatures are like vintage snapshots, revealing Barber’s fond nostalgia of a bygone era and offering us tantalizing glimpses into his remembrance of lost time. In his “Pas de deux,” Barber elevates a simple dance to a human exchange of the most poignant intimacy.

— Greg Anderson & Elizabeth Joy Roe