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Fiddle-Faddle

Composed for string orchestra and later orchestrated for full orchestra, Fiddle-Faddle was completed January 1, 1947. It is 3 minutes and 10 seconds long. It was first performed for string orchestra on March 30, 1947 at a concert broadcast from the Boston Opera House with Arthur Fiedler conducting. Its first recording was for string orchestra on June 21, 1947, in analog mono sound with Arthur Fiedler conducting the Boston Pops. Anderson orchestrated Fiddle-Faddle for full orchestra in 1948. It was first recorded for full orchestra by the composer on June 29, 1951, in analog mono sound. Recorded in analog stereo for full orchestra by the composer on June 11, 1959.

Composer quotes: "You know it's an interesting thing now that I think of it, the first numbers that I wrote for the Pops concerts featured the strings. Perhaps it's because I happen to be a string player myself. I used to play the double bass, and you might say that I never got over it, but of course strings are really wonderful instruments because they can play very rapid passages over a long period of time and never get tired, because they don't have to stop to take a breath, like the other instruments. Anyway, that's probably why Paganini and other composers wrote very fast numbers for the strings. They called them moto perpetuo, perpetual motion, or something, so that was the idea back of the number that I wrote for it, except of course that I didn't call it perpetual motion; since it was a modern piece, I gave it a modern title, "Fiddle-Faddle". The only trouble was that since Arthur Fiedler introduced it everyone started calling it Fiedler-Faddler. (laughter) Of course it really doesn't make any difference, if you'd prefer to call it Fiedler-Faddler that's perfectly all right with me." (from TV broadcast with Leroy Anderson and Arthur Fiedler)

Question: How long do you spend on one composition?

Anderson: "That varies, all the way probably from a day or two days to three or four years. I say three or four years because, because I've got one idea and one title that I've had around for three or four years, I've tried to write the music to go with it and I haven't done it yet, because I haven't been able to get it satisfactory. But it all depends on how it works out. Sometimes it comes very easily. I remember "Plink, Plank, Plunk!" was easy to do. I had to remember that because I had a deadline, I was going to record the second album and I had two or three weeks to go and there was an eighth of a side yet to be done, and I got the idea of the title and it didn't take me too long after that to finish it up. But others I've kept around, and then changed. "Fiddle-Faddle" I spent four months on and I rewrote four times; the one you know is actually the fourth one, and three other versions before that. Unless I'm really convinced about it, I don't put anything out, but wait around and mull it over a week or two, and then you go back to it again fresh, and if you're still enthusiastic about it, fine, but if you're not, you'd better not put the thing out and let other people not be enthusiastic about it. You should catch it yourself. In other words, you have to be your own worst critic, and doing that, it may take quite some length of time before you actually get a composition finished up."