Recorded with a chamber orchestra, string quartet and soloists, this album includes Baroque favourites The Four Seasons and Air on a G String.
Listen to five tracks from the album
Air on a G String is a 19th century arrangement of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major by August Wilhelmj.
By transposing the key from D major to C major, Wilhelmj was able to play it solely using the G string of his violin. This has led scholars to believe the whole orchestral suite was composed for strings only, which would make it unique within Bach’s oeuvre.
Air on a G String has been used in a number of films, including Seven and Battle Royale.
Celebrated Minuet is taken from one of Luigi Boccherini’s most famous works, String Quintet in E major. The string quintet in this case is a cello quintet, comprised of two violins, a viola and two cellos.
This piece was made famous by the Ealing Comedy The Ladykillers, in which a gang of bank robbers pretend to be a string quintet. Interestingly, the quintet is a viola quintet – meaning that they cannot possibly play the piece they pretend to practise.
Pizzicato Polka takes its name from the fact that all the notes are pizzicato (plucked), meaning that the string musicians do away with their bows. Because of this, the piece was much easier to cut into sections.
Pizzicato Polka was so popular at its first performance that the Russian audience demanded nine encores.
The Prince of Denmark’s March was composed by Jerimiah Clarke, the first organist at the rebuilt St. Paul’s Cathedral. According to some sources, the piece was written in honour of Prince George, Queen Anne’s Danish husband.
The Prince of Denmark’s March is often mistakenly attributed to Henry Purcell or confused with Purcell’s Trumpet Tune, which we have also recorded. Both pieces are extremely popular at weddings.
Although this is one of the most widely-known pieces of classical music, Antonio Vivaldi - a Venetian clergyman - received little recognition in his lifetime and died in poverty.
The Four Seasons has been used extensively in film and television, including Pretty Woman, The Killing and The Sopranos.