Barber's Adagio for Strings, Arvo Pärt’s Silouan Song and Schubert's Death and the Maiden all feature in the Australian Chamber Orchestra's Alina Ibragimova: Death and the Maiden. They can also be heard during some iconic cinematic moments.
A pivotal scene in Platoon (1986), Oliver Stone’s Oscar-winning Vietnam drama, takes place as a battalion of US soldiers is airlifted out of the jungle. Rising above the dense green canopy, they witness a GI entering a clearing. He is severely injured and pursued by Việt Cộng guerrillas. The soldiers watch on helplessly from the helicopters, unable to save the sergeant. We know his first wounds were inflicted by one of his own, and the conflict between the good but doomed Elias and his nemesis Barnes plays out on a mythical level, as a battle for the souls of the young soldiers conscripted to fight. That mythic quality is reinforced by the music that accompanies Elias’ fall. As bullets riddle his body and in a final, Christ-like pose, Elias dies, Samuel Barber’s 'Adagio for Strings' reaches its crescendo.