Building on their work from the BBC detective show's two previous seasons, veteran composers David Arnold (James Bond) and Michael Price (Band of Brothers) offer up 23 more tracks of playful suspense on Sherlock: Music from Series Three. Employing a subtle blend of electro-infused themes, classically inclined mood pieces, and atmospheric piano backdrops, they've again found a way to complement the show's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in a modern, tech-savvy world with nods to both the character's and Britain's history. Working with a script that begins with Holmes' resurrection following Series Two's apparent suicide cliffhanger, there was plenty of tension and conspiratorial whimsy to inspire the new score, which introduces new thematic elements (Holmes' wedding gift composition "Waltz for John and Mary") while making well-placed references to the show's main running themes (the grandeur of "#SherlockLives" and the playfully techno "Stag Night"). Compelling on all fronts, the Sherlock series is a classy production and the musical score remains in good hands thanks to Arnold and Price.
We tend to think of Johann Mattheson (1681–1764) as a theorist first and foremost, and as a composer almost as an afterthought. To be sure, he competed in a world in Hamburg that at one time or another featured Reinhard Keiser, Georg Philipp Telemann, and George Frederick Handel; indeed, all of these were friends, sometimes rivals, and in one case, he and Handel even fought a duel over an opera, Cleopatra (Mattheson would have won, but a metal coat button deflected his sword, fortunately both for posterity and Handel). As a singer, he was well regarded, but by 1705 he had traded his performance chops for a real job as private secretary to the English ambassador. Although this was his day job, he also functioned as the cantor of the cathedral in Hamburg, for which he wrote a huge amount of sacred music that is only now becoming recognized alongside that of his colleague Telemann as pivotal works of the late Baroque.