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Playing: Concerto a piu istrumenti in C major Op.6`10 by Evaristo Felice Dall'Abaco
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The Chekhov Challenge - The Sound of a Breaking String

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 30 January 2010

One of the most enigmatic stage directions in all drama appears in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard:

'A distant sound is heard. It appears to come from the sky and is the sound of a breaking string. It dies away sadly.'

Between the Ears focuses on the many attempts to produce this sound, ranging from musical saws to gun-shots. Guests include Paul Arditti, who mixed industrial, musical and bird sounds for the production by Sam Mendes, and musician Leafcutter John, who accepts Radio 3's own Chekhov Challenge, recording his experiments to find a resonant breaking string sound for the 21st century.

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