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Sport and classical music: they should hang out more | reviews, news & interviews

Sport and classical music: they should hang out more

Sport and classical music: they should hang out more

A Five Live concert with the BBC Philharmonic is bringing the two together

Sadly n/a to sing 'Nessun Dorma' this Friday in Salford

Classical music and sport: should they spend more time together? The idea was posited more than 20 years ago that football and opera made for ideal bedfellows, so long as the football was being played in Italy and the operatic aria was Nessun Dorma, sung by Pavarotti. Since then no major tournament or Olympiad passes by without the BBC making the effort to hoik improving classical sounds into the broadcasting mix.

The idea that the emotionalism of sport finds its perfect expression in certain types of music will be put to the test on Friday when the BBC Philharmonic performs a series of tunes associated with sports broadcasting. The bill is being kept under wraps, but you can expect a couple of slamdunks. "Pop Looks Bach",  better known as Ski Sunday, will be there (trainspotter alert: it was composed by Boosey & Hawkes’ in-house tunesmith Sam Fonteyn, whose work has also been featured on Family Guy). So will Match of the Day, composed by Barry Stoller in 1970 and officially enshrined by PRS for Music as the UK’s most recognisable theme tune. (What, not Blue Peter?)

Get your schuss on: 'Pop Looks Bach' (the house mix)

It will be a sorry sports concert which does not include “Soul Limbo”, the theme tune to Test Match Special, though it may not sound quite so sassy when performed by the BBC Phil rather than Booker T and the MGs. For Seventies nostalgists, one can hope for a dose of Horse of the Year Show, which some will know better as Mozart’s A Musical Joke. (If included, might it be arranged for the version not to fade out before the original's climactic dissonant chord?)

The orchestra will be conducted by Clark Rundell and the evening hosted by Match of the Day 2 and Five Live presenter Colin Murray. Depending on your taste for these things, an added incentive for tuning in is supplied the musical musings of former and current Olympians Kriss Akabusi, Denise Lewis and Mo Farah. We will also be hearing from Five Live pundits Pat Nevin, notably the only footballer of his era to benefit from any form of further education, and Highbury legend Perry Groves.

What would you like to see performed? Listeners can vote for their favourite sporting anthem from a shortlist of three. The winner will be played on the night. The entire concert, held in the BBC’s new premises in Salford, will be broadcast on Radio Five Live from 7 to 9 pm, perhaps the most radical interruption of the regular service since Arsène Wenger last admitted to seeing an indisputable foul in the penalty area.

Mozart's famous Horse of the Year Show theme tune in full

For Seventies nostalgists, one can hope for a dose of Horse of the Year Show, which some will know better as Mozart’s A Musical Joke

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