The Orchestral Music of Robert Helps

Adagio for orchestra (1953) from Symphony no. 1

 — Helps' first major orchestral composition won him considerable recognition (a Fromm Foundation award and the Walter W. Naumberg award).
The central Adagio was the first to be composed and was performed separately under the golden baton of Leopold Stokowski.
The composer deftly
Non-serial thriller: Helps in front of his
Brooklyn Heights apartment circa 1955
surrounds this powerful and symmetrical slow movement with two energetic “Sonata-form” satellites. This work was major success in establishing Helps' original compositional voice and his independence from the ambient serial/academic discourse of the era.

I — Energico e marcato

II — Adagio

III — Allegro con moto

Listen to this Adagio
Sound clip - Adagio for orchestra