The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and countertenor Andreas Scholl feature in latest Bond installment.

The great 17th-century Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi could not possibly have imagined that almost 400 years after his death his music would be adopted for the soundtrack of a film about an elite British spy. The same is probably true for Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s Artistic Director Paul Dyer and German countertenor Andreas Scholl when they recorded their Vivaldi motets album in 2000. Yet this evening, when the greatly anticipated new James Bond movie Spectre has its Australian premiere in Sydney, the first Australians of the millions of movie-goers who will see the film worldwide in the coming weeks will hear a work from the ABO and Scholl’s Vivaldi collaboration, as part of the film’s soundtrack.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in Spectre

Although the film, which stars British actor Daniel Craig as 007, has not yet been screened in Australia, Paul Dyer shared with Limelight that the full five minutes of the haunting Cum dederit delectis suis sommun, from Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus, is used in the film and accompanies a pivotal scene. News of the track’s inclusion on the blockbuster’s soundtrack only reach Dyer yesterday, via Scholl. “It’s a wonderful surprise,” says Dyer, who is a self-confessed Bond fan.”When Andreas wrote to me yesterday he just said, “It’s a happy day because millions and millions and millions of people are going to know about Vivaldi through this movie.””

The inclusion on the soundtrack is a remarkable achievement in itself, but for Dyer the use of this deeply moving piece of Vivaldi offers a chance for the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Scholl to play a crucial role in the the way the film connects emotionally to its audience. “Music is such an integral part of cinema. If you see a movie with the music removed it takes all the emotion away from it,” he says. “So the music is a vital part of a movie and it’s wonderful that we’ve been able to assist in giving that emotion to a movie like Spectre, which is likely to reach literally billions of people.”

ABO and Scholl, recorded in 2000 at the City Recital Hall in Sydney

Dyer believes the reason the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s recording piqued the interest of the makers of the film could be down to the level of authenticity he and Scholl strived to achieve when they recorded the disc 15 years ago. “About a week before we were due to record this track I was studying a facsimile of the original score and I discovered a piece of information scribbled at the top. It was the word “piombo”, which in Italian means lead,” Dyer shares. The “lead” Vivaldi was referring to was in fact an instruction for the material to be used for special mutes – an apparatus attached to the bridge of a string instrument to dampen its tone. “The resulting sound was incredibly ethereal, incredibly charismatic and incredibly spooky,” Dyer recalls.

Another scene from the latest Bond installment.

Ultimately however, Dyer believes the biggest draw for the producers of Spectre, was the incomparable quality of Scholl’s voice. “Obviously Andreas’ singing is the main attraction, and how it fits the mood of the scene.” Dyer says. “It’s an absolutely breathtaking voice, and one of my favourites. He’s just a really special man and a really special musician too.”

The latest James Bond film, Spectre, is on general release in Australia from November 12.
The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s latest tour with Riccardo Minasi plays CIty Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney this evening and Friday, before the Elizabeth Murdoch Hall in Melbourne, November 7 & 8.