The Orchestra is a mysterious beast. Developed over hundreds of years from instruments with diverse origins; assembling massive numbers of musicians playing instruments that require many years of practise to master; capable of changes in sound and colour that range from a whisper to a jet engine...

When it all comes together, the results can be startling, but how does it all work?  And where did it all come from?

Karl Steven concludes his four-part investigation of the parts of the orchestra with the enormous string family, unlocking the mystery of the heart of the orchestra and learning how violinists came to be associated with the devil.   

violin Diego RNZ
Violin and music Image: RNZ.

Music played in this show

Artist: Leroy Anderson
Song: Plink, Plank, Plunk
Composer: L. Anderson
Album: The Typewriter
Label: Dance Street

Artist: Reginald de Koven
Song: Serenade-A Troubadour Sang To His Love
Composer: H. L. R. de Koven
Album: Robin Hood (Original Cast Recording)
Label: AEI Records

Artist: CRA
Song: Mitemite Kocchicchi
Composer: Tanaka Hirokazu
Album: Chiptune Vol. 4 -Japanese Idol Girls- EP
Label: Crimson Technology Inc.

Artist: Mariah Carey (feat. Boyz II Men)
Song: One Sweet Day
Composer: M.McCary, Mariah Carey, N.Morris, S.Stockman, W.Afanasieff, W.Morris & Walter Afanasieff
Album: The Essential Mariah Carey
Label: Sony Music Entertainment

Artist: Cyndi Lauper
Song: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Composer: R. Hazard
Album: 100 Hits Of The '80s
Label: Sony Music Entertainment

Artist: Led Zeppelin
Song: Whole Lotta Love
Composer: R. Plant, J. Bonham, J. P. Jones, J. Page, W. Dixon
Album: Led Zeppelin II
Label: Atlantic

Artist: Donald O'Connor and Gene Kelly
Song: Fit As A Fiddle
Composer: A. Freed, A. Hoffman, A. Goodheart
Album: Singing In The Rain (Music Form the Motion Picture)
Label: Burning Fire

Artist: Ada Jones and Billy Murray
Song: Special G - I'm Looking For A Sweetheart
Composer: M. Klein
Album: Archeophone Archives: Edison Blue Amberol Records, Domestic Popular Series, Vol. 6 (1651-1720, Specials A-K & School Series)
Label: Archeophone Records

Artist: Player Piano
Song: Down By The Old Mill Stream
Composer: T. Taylor
Album: Player Piano - All Time Favorites
Label: Regina Music Inc.

Artist: Sir Georg Solti, Wiener Philharmoniker & Wiener Staatsopernchor
Song: Messa da Requiem: II. Dies Irae: 1. Dies Irae
Composer: G. Verdi
Album: Verdi: Requiem
Label: Decca Music Group Limited

Artist: Basil Rathbone & Warner Brothers Studio Orchestra
Song: The Adventures of Robin Hood
Composer: E. W. Korngold
Album: Korngold: The Adventures of Robin Hood
Label: Delos

Artist: Pee Wee King
Song: Bull Fiddle Boogie
Composer: C. R. Grean & C. Coben
Album: Gangster Squad (Music From and Inspired By the Motion Picture)
Label: Water Tower Music

Artist: Nobuko Imai
Song: Three Suites for Solo Viola, Op. 131d - Suite in G Minor: I. Molto Sostenuto
Composer: M. Reger
Album: Reger - Music For Viola
Label: Bis

Artist: Alexander Ivashkin
Song: Rimmer - A Dialogue of Opposites
Composer: J. Rimmer
Album: Under The Southern Cross: Music For Solo Cello
Label: Ode Records

Artist: Susanna Yoko Henkel
Song: Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis
Composer: R. Vaughn Williams
Album: Living Concert Series: Tchaikovsky and Vaughn Williams
Label: Acousence Classics

Artist: Nigel Kennedy
Song: Chardis
Composer: trad. Arr. J. Coleman
Album: N/A
Label: unreleased

Artist: London Philharmonic Orchestra (feat. Aboud Abdel Al)
Song: Kashmir
Composer: R. Plant, J. Bonham, J. P. Jones, J. Page, Arr. J. Coleman
Album: Kashmir - Symphonic Led Zeppelin
Label: Phillips

Artist: 101 Strings Orchestra
Song: Amore Suscami
Composer: G. Mescoli, V. Pallavicini
Album: The Love Songs Of Italy
Label: Madacy Special Products

Artist: Eric Hammerstain & London Promenade Orchestra
Song: Funeral March of a Marionette (From "Alfred Hitchcock Presents")
Composer: C. Gounod
Album: Romancing the Screen, Vol. 5: Action, Suspense and Horror Classics
Label: The Reader's Digest Association Incorporated

Artist: Bernard Herrmann: London Philharmonic Orchestra
Song: Psycho (A Narrative For Orchestra)
Composer: B. Herrmann
Album: Music From the Great Hitchcock Thrillers
Label: Decca

Artist: Evans Carroll
Song: The Monster
Composer: E. Carroll
Album: Horror Hop
Label: Buffalo Bop

Artist: Anne-Sophie Mutter & Trondheim Soloists
Song: Sonata for Violin and Continuo in G Minor, B. g5 - "Il trillo del diavolo": 4. Allegro assai
Composer: G. Tartini
Album: Vivaldi: Le quattro stagioni - Tartini: Sonata in G minor "Trillo del Diavolo"
Label: Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg

Artist: Rugiero Ricci
Song: 24 Caprices for Solo violin, Op. 1: V. Agitato: V. Agitato
Composer: N. Paganini
Album: Paganini - Ricci Plays Complete Caprices for Solo Violin Including "Caprice D'adieu"
Label: Musical Concepts

Artist: The Charlie Daniels Band
Song: The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Composer: C. Daniels. T. Crain, T. DiGregorio, F. Edwards, C. Hayward, J. W. Marshall
Album: The Essential Charlie Daniels Band
Label: Sony Music Entertainment

Artist: Kronos Quartet
Song: Mini Skirt
Composer: L. Warner
Album: Kronos Quartet: Nuevo
Label: Nonesuch Records

Artist: John Barry Orchestra
Song: Opening Titles (Medley): James Bond Is Back/From Russia With Love/James Bond Theme
Composer: J. Barry
Album: Best of Bond...James Bond 50 Years - 50 Tracks
Label: Capitol Records

Artist: Mendelssohn: Symphony #4 In A, Op. 90, "Italian" - 1. Allegro Vivace
Song: Claudio Abbado: London Symphony Orchestra
Composer: F. Mendelssohn
Album: Mendelssohn: Symphonies #3 & 4
Label: Deutsche Grammophon

Artist: David Nalden
Song: Violin Concerto in G Minor 1st Movement
Composer: M. Bruch
Album: N/A
Label: N/A

Artist: David Nalden
Song: Viola Improvisation
Composer: D. Nalden
Album: N/A
Label: N/A

Artist: Kodály Quartet
Song: String Quartet in B Flat Major Op. 1, No.1: V. Finale - Presto
Composer: F. J. Haydn
Album: Haydn: String Quartets, Op. 1, Nos. 1 - 4
Label: Naxos

Artist: Balanescu Quartet
Song: Autobahn
Composer: R. Hütter, F. Schneider, E. Schult
Album: Possessed
Label: Mute Records

Artist: Kronos Quartet
Song: Misirlou Twist
Composer: N. Roubanis
Album: Kronos Quartet: Caravan
Label: Nonesuch Records