×

“A great achievement by a filmmaker who possesses a deep knowledge of music, and is able to share it beautifully.  I sincerely hope that this work leads to more occasions to create music documentaries of this rare quality.”

Anders Hillborg, composer

“In the new documentary film Samuel Barber: Absolute Beauty, one realizes how and why Barber’s music has gradually insinuated itself into the very core of the classical music world with a durability that now seems unmatched by any of his contemporaries. With great visual polish, documentarian H. Paul Moon brings together an extremely impressive array of documents, archival footage, interviews with Barber experts, and taped oral histories. And with particular sensitivity and intelligence, Moon explores the nature of the Barber-Menotti relationship. His ability to present so much visual evidence is astounding.”

David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer

“In person Samuel Barber was urbane, witty, articulate, and loved humor. Paul Moon reveals these qualities in his wonderful film about my uncle. He shows musicians who knew him offering insights about who he was, and others who love his music rehearsing and performing it. We in turn gain a deep understanding of the man and the composer I knew.”

David Beatty, nephew of Samuel Barber

“This is a most welcome documentary…that should consolidate a broader awareness of Barber’s contributions. I hope that it attracts considerable attention. H. Paul Moon is to be commended for pulling together so many gifted performers and such revealing historical footage in compiling this multifaceted presentation. The viewer will come away with quite a rich understanding of the scope of Barber’s music, along with the essential elements of his biography, his temperament, and his personality.”

Walter Simmons, Fanfare Magazine

“This lavishly illustrated documentary…proclaims the meticulous labour, inspiration and persuasive powers of H. Paul Moon and his subject: the life and music of Samuel Barber. Punches are not pulled whether in relation to personal behaviour or musical assessment. This a bejewelled production…that steers a rewarding course between moving things along yet staying still long enough to inform, surprise and please.”

Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

“A remarkable and compelling documentary that paints a revealing portrait of one of the 20th century’s greatest composers. Insightful and absorbing at every stage, H. Paul Moon leaves no stone unturned in his quest to bring to us, a greater understanding of this man of genius: one whose life began so charmed, but ended as sad and mournful as the Adagio that brought him such enviable success. Interspersed with a wealth of biographical material, contemporary and archival interviews and footage of Samuel Barber himself, this landmark film is the first to explore not only Barber the composer but also, and perhaps more importantly, Barber the man.”

Ian Venables, composer

“A remarkable success that rewrites the rules of documentary filmmaking, the kind of project that used only to be made by documentary departments of major television studios. If you are at all unfamiliar with this essential twentieth century composer, this marvelous documentary is the ideal place to begin.”

Christian Morris, Composition:Today

Thanks for your interest

Please sign up to get occasional e-mails (very few per year) including news about this film and Samuel Barber's music!

(Your information is private and will not be shared with anyone else.)

AVAILABLE NOW

ONLINE STREAMING

DISC MEDIA

NOTE: To watch on large screen/TV,
apps for each of these services are available on iOS/Apple TV, Android/
Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Roku, etc.