Mozart And The Horn : Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

City Halls Glasgow.
Queens Hall, Edinburgh
I met my musical companion of the night at Waverly Train Station, Princes St entrance. Foxycat Nina arrived on time. We both decided that £23.50 day return to Glasgow was way too expensive, so we made haste to St Andrews Bus Station and got a bus. £7.50 return if bought from the kiosk in the bus Station. if you get a ticket on the bus its £11.90 return. How mental is that! I was praying that the traffic was nae gonna be chocka. So was huffing and puffing when we hit a hold up at the airport. But we soon moved and the coach happily spead along the M8 only to hit gridlock 3 miles from our destination. So started huffin and puffing again because I absolutely could not be late.The bus got into the bus station bang on 7pm. So we had 30 minuets to get to our venue. I breathed a sigh of relief and we skipped to the city Halls. Mozart was waiting. We arrived in good time, Good Time! Picked up our tickets having time to have an Orange Juice, Nina had Wine.
This is the second time I have had the delight to enjoy a performance by The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, this year. So I knew that this was going to be an outstanding show of musical integrity. The City Halls is a lovely venue, all white and lush and the acoustics a delight. My musical companion and I had brilliant seats and a brilliant vantage point from which to witness such elegance. The Orchestra is a collection of strings, oboe, a brass section, three massive drums were warming and tuning up,there was a growing excitement, a real buzz, hmmmmmm a very beautiful musical experience was beginning to unfold.
Onto the stage our conductor of the evening, Richard Egar walked commanding his chamber orchestra to attention. closely followed by the natural horn player, Alan Frank Gemmill, Frank gave us lesson into the music that was about to be performed. Explaining that The Horn that Mozart wrote the music for and first tune of the evening, Only had one tone,and didn’t have any pressy things to alter the notes.The First half a collection of pieces . I was captivated and it was all really nice it was a lovely performance. The Horn was the center of attention. The more classical music I see the more I understand it. Until recently divine had always been a contemporary kind of girl. So at each classical music performance I see,a new insight is gained. Tonights insight was that each instrument is given the center of attention. giving voice to the master that composed it In a sense, reproducing the moment from when it was written leaving a musical collage that has an ever unfolding mystery. Mozart was speaking.
In the interval, Nina went up for another wine but I stayed put and gave myself a 15 minute education into Mozart, What a Dude, Writing and conducting his first opera at 14, he moved to Vienna in his mid forties, establishing a cheese shop just in case his teeth felt out and for a horn player, once your teeth go your career as a horn player is compromised. Hmm How interesting it was. It was the second half of the performance that really took me, pulled me in straight away, a different spirit was flowing and The Chamber Orchestra had a rock chemistry that was absent in the first half. New members had joined the orchestra; it was magical and the tonights instrument in the spotlight. The Horn. Mozart had me, speaking through his music bringing me alive, enriching, inspiring and a totally brilliant captivating performance, that left me feeling deep and meditative. Just like good music should do. It moved me baby! Rock Me Amadeus! Reviewer : Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra was introduced by the conductor, Richard Egarr.
It was surprisingly laid back for what I know of prestigious orchestras.  A short historical explanation was given, informative for classical music novices and experts alike.   As the Symphony No. 1 in C began it was one of those musical experiences you have where you can feel every single one of your hairs standing on end. The natural horn, I learned, was how Mozart originally wanted these symphonies to be played but they rarely are and this was one of these rare opportunities. An older chap at the break outside said the only  time he has had heard it played on the natural horn was on a CD being played by Denis Brain in 1953.
Being a novice I hadn’t realized what a rare opportunity this was. Alec Frank-Gemmill  plays the horn tonight and he explained that Mozart was a rebellious composer and the use of this instrument clarifies this and indeed its sound is very different from that of the french horn.  It has no valves so it is purely breath an the use of one hand inside the horn that determine the notes.  I liked it and was glad its rebellious nature was explained.  All the people we met were friendly and a few people had commented how great it was that there were some young people at a performance such as  this and looking around the youngest person in house apart from us was sitting next to us a young girl out with her family how could barely stop herself from drumming out the tune  with an imagined horn in her hand.  Particularly when the the final piece by Beethoven was played.
It was clear that those that have an ear for this kind of music are deeply passionate about it indeed.  The relaxed atmosphere of the queens meant  that the concert had a down to earth appeal when I had been expecting it to be a lot more formal.
Reviewer : Sarah Marshall

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