Tiësto’s uplifting trance anthem ‘Adagio For Strings’ turns 16 years old

The dance music master that is Tiësto is currently riding high in the charts with his latest release The Business Part II, but today we look back at one of his all time classics, his remix of Adagio For Strings which turns 16 today, and even after all this time, it remains a staple of Tiësto’s live sets and a firm fan-favourite.

The story of Adagio For Strings (or to give it its proper name – Adagio For Strings, String Quartet, Op.11. Second Movement) dates all the way back to 1936, when American composer Samuel Barber wrote the piece while holidaying in Europe. In the decades that followed, the deeply sombre piece became synonymous with the death of major figures, being played on the radio to mark the deaths of JFK and Franklin D Roosevelt, and at the funerals of Albert Einstein, and Princess Grace Of Monaco. The piece took a much happier turn in the 90s, when William Orbit released it as a single from his 1995 album Pieces In A Modern Style. Despite often being credited for the first dance remix, Orbit didn’t really do anything to the original apart from record it as Barber intended, with the occasional added ambient noise. It was Dutch trance master Ferry Corsten who took on the remix duties, arguably creating the most uplifting version of the track for which he often isn’t credited, released in 2000 and peaking on the UK Singles Chart at #4, quite the achievement at the time.

Yet just a few years later right in the middle of his Just Be era, Tiësto took on the piece and made it his own, offering up a darker more brooding trance version that originally appeared in 2004 on his Tiësto In Concert 2 album, before being released fully as the fourth single from Just Be in 2005. Since then, despite the evolution of Tiësto’s style and sound, Adagio For Strings still makes an appearance in his live sets, often as the climax right at the end. Indeed, the popularity of the track means it was voted as the second greatest dance record of all time by Mixmag readers in 2013, only narrowly being beaten by Daft Punk’s One More Time.

So re-live the track in its heyday below, with Tiësto playing it live in concert way back when it was brand new, and while you’re at it, why not check out the full Tiësto In Concert 2 here.


Image Credit: Rukes.com