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The Orchestra -- A must have app for music lovers
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The Orchestra — A must have app for music lovers

mzl.gdloviuh.480x480-75Touchpress has done it again! The producer of some of the most intelligent and visually spectacular apps for the pad has outdone itself with The Orchestra. The app is the result of a collaboration between the London Philharmonia orchestra  and The Music Sales Group. In tits simplest form the app plays excerpts from eight pieces of classical music but it is way more than a concert video.

Once you make your selection the screen is divided into a number of windows, one is a unique and highly personal view of conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. Other windows show the entire orchestra or views of setions or individual musicians. The final window is an overhead view of the orchestra with dots representing the individual musicians the dot that flashes when they are playing. A great representation of how the individual instruments combine to make the whole experience. In Beethoven’s Symphony number 5  you can isolate a specific instrument or group of instruments by tapping and holding the beat map. A  $0.99 in-app purchase alows you to unlock this feature for other pieces.

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You can also see the score scrolling horizontally synched to the music. You can view the full score for all the instruments or the curated score which prioritizes the instruments that Salonen thinks are most important or even a simplified version that does away with the musical notation..conductor Salonen explains:

I couldn’t put this app down…it is spectacular and loaded with information that increases enjoyment of the music. Now the audio on the iPad mini I used to test the app is pretty good but for the real experience I mirrored the app to my Apple TV to experience it on the big screen and through a good sound system…one word…Wow!

All these features do not come cheap…The Orchestra is an expensive $13.99 at the app store. I certainly think this huge app is worth the price because of its quality and scope…but I do think the in-app purchase for the beat map experience is a bit much. If you love music you will not regret buying this app.

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Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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