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A trio of dogs were part of a recent performance by the Danish Chamber Orchestra

AYESHA RASCOE, HOST:

And now a round of a-paws (ph) for the Danish Chamber Orchestra. The group performed "Hunting Symphony" by Leopold Mozart this month. That's the father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Leopold's "Hunting Symphony" is not performed very often, and one reason might be because the third movement of the symphony requires dogs.

(SOUNDBITE OF DANISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA PERFORMANCE OF LEOPOLD MOZART'S "HUNTING SYMPHONY")

ANDREAS VETO: It's supposed to reflect the pictures of a hunt going on. Within the first two movements, you will have the signal from the horns showing that the hunt will begin. And then in the third movement, it's written to bring in the dogs.

RASCOE: That's Andreas Veto, the CEO of the Danish Chamber Orchestra. Most orchestras use a recording of dogs, but the Danish Chamber Orchestra, under Vito and chief conductor Adam Fischer decided, no. Sit. Stay. Come. They went for the real thing.

(SOUNDBITE OF DANISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA PERFORMANCE OF LEOPOLD MOZART'S "HUNTING SYMPHONY")

VETO: In the spring, we held an audition. We had around 10 dogs, and we had a real dog trainer from the police helping us select the right dogs. And at this audition, they were showing their skills. And can they bark on command? And can they - even more important stuff on command?

RASCOE: They chose three dogs - a German shepherd, a cocker spaniel and a Spanish water dog - to create a trio of mezzo-puprano (ph), alpo (ph) and bark-itone (ph).

VETO: So, of course, we were listening. How would these sound together?

RASCOE: And he says the three different barks make "Hunting Symphony" sound authentic. Now, getting Rover to roll over can sometimes be a challenge, so how did conductor Adam Fischer get the dogs to bark on command during this performance?

VETO: He would start waving his hands towards the dogs.

RASCOE: And the owners would each do their own signal to their dogs to speak and then to hush like the good puppies they are. The owners also dressed themselves and their dogs appropriately for the classical musical stage.

VETO: They made their dogs beautiful. Some of them were - would fix their hair maybe, but it was mostly owners that dressed up in black. And also, for the first two movements, they would sit on stage together with the dogs just being quiet. It was quite impressive that the dogs could be on stage without sounds.

RASCOE: The orchestra performed the "Hunting Symphony" as part of its Haydn festival, and it was a big treat for the audience.

VETO: One of our missions is to get the classical music in contact with people, meet new audiences. I'm not sure if we're going to bring more animals on stage, but for sure, we're going to look into, how can we pop up with new ideas? How can we interact with our audience, make them smile, while still be playing the classical music on the very highest level?

RASCOE: Andreas Veto of the Danish Chamber Orchestra, which has gone to the dogs in a very good way.

(SOUNDBITE OF DANISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA PERFORMANCE OF LEOPOLD MOZART'S "HUNTING SYMPHONY") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Ayesha Rascoe
Ayesha Rascoe is the host of Weekend Edition Sunday and the Saturday episodes of Up First. As host of the morning news magazine, she interviews news makers, entertainers, politicians and more about the stories that everyone is talking about or that everyone should be talking about.
Danny Hensel