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Classical Notes

Click on Classical: The real Vivaldi, "Sherlock" and "Anchorman," choral magic

Posted at 8:32 AM on March 24, 2014 by Jay Gabler
Filed under: Click on Classical


Every Monday morning at about 9:15, I join John Birge on Classical MPR to discuss some of the fun and fascinating stories we're featuring on our site. Four stories we'll be talking about this morning:

Musicologist Susan Orlando has been working for years to raise awareness of Antonio Vivaldi and to make his work available through the Naïve label's Vivaldi Edition; when complete, the Vivaldi Edition will include performances of over 450 Vivaldi manuscripts held at the National University Library in Turin. This week, Gwen Hoberg spoke with Orlando about Vivaldi's struggles (he had persistent breathing problems), and misconceptions about his life (the evidence doesn't support portrayals of the composer, who worked with an orchestra of young women, as behaving inappropriately towards them), and the enduring appeal of this beloved musician.

Garrett Tiedemann conducted two tag-team interviews with pairs of film composers: David Arnold and Michael Price, composers of the music for the BBC series Sherlock; and John Nau and Andrew Feltenstein, composers of the score for Anchorman 2. Both pairs of interviewees play off each other with good humor and lend insight into the process of composing for such popular entertainments. Arnold and Price also field a few questions from our audience, including a question about what music best captures "focused madness."

David Lindquist, a local singer, writes with fascination about the phenomenon of live choral music​: specifically, the way that audience members hear a unified sound while the singers are each worrying about producing specific pitches. Of course, no two listeners have exactly the same experience either. "How strange and wonderful it is," writes David, "that in a hall filled with 1,500 people, 1,500 singular experiences occur simultaneously during a performance."