During the lockdown days of pandemic, one thing that could lift me from the general sense of existential despair was the discovery of a well-crafted, enjoyable series on Netflix.
Bridgerton certainly did the trick.
Historically preposterous, sentimental, excessive in costume and wishful thinking, it was just the ticket. And the first time everyone waltzed into a ballroom accompanied by a string quartet playing...wait what is that? Is that actually a pop tune by Ariana Grande?
I was definitely won over. This fantasy world has everything I need. But the question remained, who was this mystery string quartet, and exactly what were they playing? Also, can I get these arrangements?
Here's the answer: this was the Vitamin String Quartet, an umbrella name for a "string quartet project group" run by a record label in Los Angeles. (Interesting concept - apparently they rotate through different musicians and don't officially credit them, so who knows who actually played, if it was even live musicians playing together! What do you think, listening to it?)
Nonetheless, the arrangements, by Kathy and James McMillen, are interesting - not only did they make headlines but the covers from the Netflix soundtrack also made it to #1 on the the Classical Crossover Albums chart in January 2021.
I can certainly imagine student groups playing these, or quartets throwing in one of these quirky arrangements at a wedding reception. So here's the scoop: You can download the sheet music (click here), or as of recently, you can get a nice printed copy by Hal Leonard. Here are the quartet covers, and you can click on any one for the link to the printed sheet music:
So there you have it, if you'd like to throw something new in to the mix. Whatever you are playing these days, happy post-pandemic music-making!
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