Adagio in G minor for strings and organ, also known as Adagio in Sol minore per archi e organo su due spunti tematici e su un basso numerato di Tomaso Albinoni (Mi 26), is a neo-Baroque composition often misattributed to the 18th-century Venetian composer Tomaso Albinoni. In fact the work was composed by a 20th-century musicologist and Albinoni biographer named Remo Giazotto. The piece was purportedly based on the discovery of a bass line by Albinoni in a manuscript fragment.

Scholarly debate over the existence of the fragment persists, with most seeing the affair as a musical hoax perpetrated by Giazotto. There is no room for doubt when it comes to the source of everything in the Adagio other than the bassline, and Giazotto's authorship of these parts is not disputed.[1][2]



The composition is often referred to as "Albinoni's Adagio" or "Adagio in G minor by Albinoni, arranged by Giazotto".[1] The ascription to Albinoni rests upon Giazotto's purported discovery of a manuscript fragment (consisting of a few opening measures of the melody line and basso continuo portion) from a slow second movement of an otherwise unknown Albinoni trio sonata.

According to Giazotto, he obtained the document shortly after the end of World War II from the Saxon State Library in Dresden which had preserved most of its collection, although its buildings were destroyed in the bombing raids of February and March 1945 by the British and American Air Forces. Giazotto concluded that the manuscript fragment was a portion of a church sonata (sonata da chiesa, one of two standard forms of the trio sonata) in G minor composed by Albinoni, possibly as part of his Op. 4 set, around 1708.[1]

In his account, Giazotto then constructed the balance of the complete single-movement work based on this fragmentary theme. He copyrighted it and published it in 1958 under a title which, translated into English, reads "Adagio in G minor for strings and organ, on two thematic ideas and on a figured bass by Tomaso Albinoni".[3] Giazotto never produced the manuscript fragment, and no official record has been found of its presence in the collection of the Saxon State Library.[4]

The piece is most commonly orchestrated for string ensemble and organ, or string ensemble alone, but with its growing fame has been transcribed for other instruments.


The Adagio has been used in many films, television programmes, advertisements, recordings, and books. Notable occurrences include:


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Dekel, Jon (24 February 2017). "Is Albinoni's Adagio the biggest fraud in music history?". CBC Music. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Giazotto, Remo". Grove Music Online. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  3. ^ Giazotto, Remo; Albinoni, Tomaso (1958). Adagio in sol minore per archi e organo: su due spunti tematici e su un basso numerato di Tomaso Albinoni (Musical score) (in Italian). Milan: Ricordi. OCLC 2408017.
  4. ^ Letter from the Saxon State Library (consultant Marina Lang), 24 September 1990, reproduced in facsimile by Wulf Dieter Lugert and Volker Schütz, "Adagio à la Albinoni", Praxis des Musikunterrichts 53 (February 1998), pp. 13–22, here p. 15. OCLC 1298747922
  5. ^ Ledrut, Jean (1963). Le Proces (The Trial) Bande originale du film d'Orson Welles (Musical LP). Philips. OCLC 761811030.
  6. ^ Dragon's Domain , IMDB
  7. ^ a b c Courtney E. Smith (16 February 2018). "Uncovering The Spoilers Buried in the Music Of American Crime Story: Versace". Refinery29. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Original versions of Anytime, Anywhere written by Frank Peterson, Michael Soltau, Sarah Brightman, Chiara Ferraù | SecondHandSongs". Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  9. ^ Van Horn Jr., Ray (20 August 2016). "Wolf Hoffmann Headbangers Symphony". Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  10. ^ Headbangers Symphony at Discogs
  11. ^ SHOWTIME. "Mayweather vs. McGregor: Toronto Press Conference". YouTube.