How Long Is 8:46 In Classical Music? Musicians Honor George Floyd With Moving ‘Albinoni Adagio’

July 3, 2020

Classical musicians from around the world have created a powerful and moving video tribute to George Floyd, including Colorado College Summer Music Festival faculty cellist, Bion Tsang. His 18-year-old son Bailey, edited the footage of the famous classical piece that is eight minutes and 46 seconds long, the exact duration Floyd was pinned to the ground on May 25 by Minneapolis police officers, according to prosecutors. 

Violinist Richard Young produced the video, utilizing a well-known work known as the “Albinoni Adagio”. The piece was used for mourning, defiance and hope during the Siege of Sarajevo nearly 30 years ago by Vedran Smailović, known as “The Cellist of Sarajevo,” when he played the somber piece at the site of intense bombing for days.

Twentieth century Italian musicologist Remo Giazzoto composed the adagio, claiming to have used a bass line by Baroque Italian composer Tomaso Albinoni from two centuries prior.

Floyd’s death has reignited the Black Lives Matter movement globally. Impacts in Colorado include the reopened investigation of the death of Aurora’s Elijah McClain and last week’s violin vigil for McClain, a musical tribute that has been replicated across the nation in his honor.

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