Even before the National Symphony’s première performance in May of 2006 of Four Angels: Concerto for Harp and Orchestra, musicians in the orchestra were urging me towards presenting its third movement — Regina Coeli, an aural meditation on the mother of Jesus as the Queen of Heaven — as a separate piece. The most distinguished American example of this practice is probably Barber’s Adagio for Strings, which is heard much more frequently outside, rather than inside, its role as the slow movement of his string quartet.
While the concerto Regina Coeli includes a breath of brass, it is largely scored only for harp and strings. I prepared versions that could be performed either by string quintet or string ensemble; and Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, the chamber orchestra of the National Symphony, recorded the string orchestra version of Regina Coeli for an all-Adamo record released on Naxos in November 2009.
Regina Coeli is the rearranged slow movement of Adamo's harp concerto Four Angels and the lovely meditation makes one want to hear the complete work.