All posts by yodamo

In The Round

Oran Mor

21st January

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Youth, Charisma & genuine Talent were all present in abundance last night at the Oran Mor, for the showcase of the ‘Middle of Nowhere Records’ family. Sat together in a semi-circle, bantering freely & accompanying each other’s self-penned orphic hymns were Glasgow’s marvellous velvet-jacketed Roddy Hart, Stornaway’s soft-voiced Colin Macleod & elfin-minded Miss Irenie Rose, Mull’s shy but beautiful Sorren Maclean & of course  Aviemore’s Rachel Sermanni, about whose divine vocals & remarkable fretswomanship the Record label was initially woven.

Rob Hicks, the boss of ‘Middle of Nowhere’ has an excrutiatingly annoying eye for talent – his charges are really that good. So happy with them I believe he is, that when he discovered that his one-off vinyl edition to accompany the show was still in transit from Germany (the weather apparently), he was still bloody grinning, so sure was he of his lovely team. He took orders on teh LP, by the way, & offered to pay postage for free!

 

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The show was sold-out, packed to the rafters & really enjoying the hootenanny laid up on such a harmonious platter. It felt a bit like being sat in the Gaslight Cafe, Greenwich Village, 1959, with the young Bob & Dylan shaking the midwest dust from his feet – then in walks Joan Baez & the rest is history. For me, it seems like the natural genius of the folk music of the Highlands & Islands could well be instrumental in some kind of national revival. These guys are young, with the world at their feet, with many a beautiful song yet to be written, yet to be plucked from the glens & the streams, yet to be sung on the desolate hills.

I think the best way to finish this review is to simply let the kids do the talking for themselves, so here are a few you-tube clips, & a link to their record label, where I am sure you will soon be purchasing an album or three.

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Danny Kyle Open Stage

GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL

 21 January 2015

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January is, traditionally, a healthy month spent recuperating from festive frolics and exertion. Fortunately, Glasgow fails to comprehend the term quiet night in, and an array of parties to choose from continues, from the formidable King Tut’s New Year’s Revolution to the endearing and irreplaceable Celtic Connections festival. With snow blanketing the suburbs, it was down to Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to thaw the fingers and draw the crowds in. The Danny Kyle stage, named after the legendary Scottish folk singer, is held within the Exhibition Hall and has been the platform where a number of now-established names presented their talents. This free-entry stage welcomed submissions from rising musical acts to exhibit their songs in an effort to reach a ticketed showcase concert on 1st February 2015.

 

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Now five nights in, and with Celtic Music Radio streaming the event, tonight’s acts included one of the Vale of Leven’s most-loved bands, Have Mercy Las Vegas. Described by Jim Gellatly as “an ideal festival band with stacks of energy”, the Vegas have been building up a steady following across the country over the last couple of years with their obstreperous, rollicking sounds blended with congenial polyphonic harmonies. With debut album ‘That’s Life’ neatly tucked into the rear-end of 2014, the band were keen to propel their West Dunbartonshire-flavour of roots and blues and rally the frozen audience into stamping grit off their boots; raise one mitten to the roof.

 


With no fewer than six band members, most stages are usually squeezed to fit the full Vegas crowd in. It was apparent from the start that bassist Marc McLean would be forced to play much of the set with his back to the crowd in an effort to avoid feedback. This ploy worked as the band eased themselves into EP release and fans’ favourite “Tear To My Eye”. The glorious echo of the line hanging out with an angel quickly had the seated crowd yearning for more. This was followed by a frenetic, feverish “Barn Stomp”, led by Andrew Napier’s agitated fiddle and Stephen Scott’s equally frenzied banjo-playing. It was a smart move by Vegas to showcase different strings to their bow, pardon the pun, slowing things down with lead singers Crispin McAlpine and Eilidh Trotter sharing harmonies on the lesser-played “Plastic Promises”, before rounding off their 4-song set with the wonderful “Bonnie and Clyde” from their debut album.

Have Mercy Las Vegas performing on the BBC Alba programme, Rapal.
Have Mercy Las Vegas performing on the BBC Alba programme, Rapal.

Second to the stage was student Tom Vevers. This was a far more intimate performance which allowed Vevers to demonstrate a sweet display of acoustic guitar and vocal dynamics. Opener “Wait And See” had shades of Tom McRae, captivating the 250 capacity-filled audience. A slower-paced love ballad “Science Class” followed after Vevers’ witty repertoire between songs, begging the subject of the piece Where do you think the light goes when it leaves your eyes?, and one final song “Low” wrapped up a short, but effective set.

 

Following Vevers was the treat that was Granny Green. This trio consist of a trumpet, an accordion, and a much-cherish tuba. Stamping their own mark on an established opener, it was left to tuba player Rachel Brown to provide a quite breathtaking opener for second number, “Fnook” (Ladies, correct me if this is not the right spelling but I do remember that it is a Norwegian word for ‘something small’). A fascinating display of musicianship which managed to make the tuba sound like a didgeridoo and a drumkit in places, and a true delight to see and hear live. The Granny Green girls rounded off their set with a third song, mournful to start with but gradually twisting, turning, bordering on film noir as they reached the climax. This was the first band since Grousebeater Soundsystem at Loopallu Festival in 2009 that has made me  smile ear to ear at sounds that belongs to no genre and are entirely original.

 

Granny Greeen
Granny Greeen

 

Shetland lass Chloe Robertson filled the fourth spot with an acoustic set similar to the afore-mentioned Vevers – each song improving on the one before it. Robertson’s warm manner shone through songs “The Symptoms And The Signs” and “Stitches” – the latter was described as a gentle let-down. Feasibly the strongest song that emerged was the clever “Insomnia”. Hardly breaking new ground on subject matter, but Robertson’s ability to lend her own personal experience in the songs draws listeners in like moths to a flame. The fifth and final number “Fish Out Of Water” was penned when Robertson was a mere 15 years old, which makes it all the more remarkable that this was a delightful way to finish her turn on the Danny Kyle stage.

 

 

The final act of the evening was the recently-formed Talisk. This trio had already performed at the Royal Albert Hall and were a clear favourite among large sections of the audience. The balance between concertina, fiddle and guitar quickly engaged the audience into hand-clapping and whooping along with each number. Talisk’s interpretation of traditional music wasn’t to my own tastes, but a version of “Baby Broons” was a welcome addition within their set, and Mohsen Amini’s concertina on final song “Kettles” was highly moving, suggesting that this band deserved their place every bit as much as their peers this evening.

It was then left to host Liz Clark to thank all who had contributed to a wonderful evening and wait to hear in approximately one week’s time which successful act will proceed to the illustrious ticketed event.

 

Reviewer : Stephen Watt

Wee Dub Hogmanay

Studio 24

Edinburgh

New Year 2015!!!

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From half way down Carlton Road you could hear the sound of Studio 24″s musical masterpiece that they had put on for the end of 2014 !!!!  On entering Studio 24 the music took hold of you like a warm embrace from a close friend. THE WEE DUB was in full swing, blasting out the tunes that make them unique…  The music, the dance and the vibe was electric. Without further thought I plunged myself into the crowd, onto the dance floor and allowed the music to take me on a magical musical journey through the first few hours of 2015.

With Mungo’s Hi Fi, Prince Batty and Dread Squad, we were all in for the long haul.  A  Five Hour mash-up of friends, dancing, drinking and loving was only what most people had in mind.  With a great vibe and friends you couldn’t have asked for a better way to see in a New Year and ending the last one with a Bang !!!! Well done to all the staff at Studio 24 and to the Wee Dub crew for putting on a great show.

Reviewer : Spud

Dunedin Consort : Handel’s Messiah

Queens Hall, Edinburgh

21/12/14

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Handel composed this sacred oratorio in 1741 to raise money for 3 Dublin charities, his librettist Charles Jennens provided the text compiling verses from the old and new testament to depict the life and death of Jesus and the tragic injustice of his life in order to bring salvation to mankind. Handel was in poor health at the time, but the result was Handel’s most revered oratorio, which was extremely well received from its first performance through to the present day.It has certainly stood the test of time, and provides a welcome refuge from the commercial emphasis of Christmas in our modern times. The music brings this spiritual text an emotional depth and moves us in a way that would be much harder with the text alone. Shifting from major to minor keys, dynamic string parts, and beautiful harmonic progressions. Solo parts follow choral parts, covering the emotional spectrum of hope, melancholy and sorrow, conflict and ultimately celebration and joy of Christ’s resurrection and mankind’s liberation.

The orchestra and choir were relatively small and gave an intimate atmosphere that I quickly adjusted to. The music was performed to a very high standard, conducted and directed by John Butt. Mhairi Lawson the solo soprano was the highlight for me, with her moving arias and relationship with the audience. Rowan Hellier, sang the alto parts with delicate precision and Thomas Walker tenor sang the beautiful ‘comfort ye’ and other arias with sensitivity and poignancy.

David Shipley with his regal bass voice added majesty and richness to the performance. This is an annual event at the Queen’s hall which many no doubt attend year in year out, with such a beautiful piece of music so expertly and sensitively performed, it is surely soul music that is much appreciated at this time of year. FOUR STARS

four-stars

Reviewer : Sophie Younger

Holly at Christmas

Eden Court – One Touch Theatre

Inverness

11-13 Dec 2014

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Buddy Holly and the Cricketers provided some festive fun and entertainment and certainly got the crowd rocking at Eden Court’s One Touch Theatre. Even though the music was from well before my time, I found I knew most the words and like most people in the audience was singing along and even had a dance in the second half.

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The couple next to me said they saw the show last year, so it seems it has become a Christmas tradition for some. As expected they played plenty of Buddy Holly hits such as Peggy Sue, Heartbeat and Oh Boy along with some other classics of the era such as Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Frankie Valli to name a few.

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With a talented line up line of actor musicians, who have featured in West End shows such as Buddy and Lennon there was a good mixture of music and comedy and I was quite impressed at the ease that some of the band where able to both sing and play several instruments (sometimes during the same song). They finished off with an exciting & triumphant extended encore,  a medley of songs which really got the blood thumping. All in all, a lively fast paced rock and roll show that will really get you into the Christmas spirit. THREE STARS

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Reviewer : Zoe Gwynne

Glasgow Madrigirls: Music and Readings for Advent

Glasgow University Chapel, 7th December, 2014

 

Glasgow Madrigirls, directed by Katy Cooper and Lavinia Downie, have been going since 2000, and their impact and development is shown by the fact that this concert was standing room only – the chapel was absolutely full. A bit surprising maybe for a programme of medieval lyrics, carols, poems and melodies, but the fresh singing of the choir and the promise of something to lift the spirits on a raw night obviously had appeal. As it turned out, there were plenty moments and elements in the programme that gave real satisfaction and pleasure.

 

 

A mix of (mostly) choral settings, with straightforward instrumentation was combined with readings; and the sources were from all over Europe. A lot of careful work had gone into researching and making the selections, and the notes on the printed programme gave a helpful notion of the context. The musical arrangements, the presentation and the balance of the choir (with a preponderance of altos over sopranos) were appealing and effective. There were some fine harmonic effects, and the direction for the most part created a bright, captivating sound in the slightly daunting recesses of the chapel.

 

One of my particular heroines, the doughty visionary Hildegard of Bingen, featured on two items – an opening antiphon and a lovely setting of her melismatic sequence “O viridissima virga’ – where Mary is praised as a blossoming branch. Other highlights, in a pretty busy programme, were a version of the ‘Cherry Tree Carol’ for two voices, with violin and cello, and also Katy Lavinia Cooper’s setting of ‘Leaves of Life Magnificat’, where Sacha Fullerton was the soloist. It wasn’t always possible to pick out soloists because of the sightlines, but a good proportion of the choir members contributed here, and added to our enjoyment.

 

 

The readings, coming in from lectern/pulpits on two sides, were clear and well delivered; but I wished the content and language had been enriched by Scots to a greater extent. There was little need for a ‘version’ of Robert Henryson – though it was great to have him there, and surely again as a deep and humane resource – and if that audience could handle Middle English they could certainly manage undiluted medieval (and slightly later) Scots. We did get the text, and an excellent choral rendering, of William Dunbar’s resounding ‘Rorate celi, desuper’; and there’s more where that came from, as well as in Alexander Scott and Alexander Montgomerie, for example, and in Elizabeth Melville, Lady Culross. And for Gaelic, perhaps invite compositions from Carmichael’s Carmina Gadelica.

 

It was good to see a quartet of ‘Madriguys’ in support; maybe occasional ‘Madrigammers’ and ‘Madrigaffers’ are possible too. Done again, with a similar big audience and in the same space, I’d look for modest platform elevation and possibly a bit of sonic lift for the choir. But in any setting this is a group well worthy of support, and praise – as their advent concertb clearly underlined.

Reviewer : Mr Scales

 

 

Beethoven Concert: SCO with Francesco Piemontesi (piano)

City Halls, Glasgow December 3rd, 2014

There were a couple of late changes to the programme for this concert – the more significant being the appearance of Olari Elts as conductor for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO), replacing Robin Ticciati, who was unwell. Then there was the perfectly apt substitution of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, Op 62 for Webern’s brief Symphony Op 21, with its serial tone row permutations. As it turned out, Elts’ performance was a bravura one, and the inclusion of the Coriolan gave the audience a programme which exactly paralleled the original première of all three main Beethoven pieces – adding the Piano Concerto No 4 in G, Op 58 and his Symphony No 4 in B Flat, Op 60 – which were first performed at a private concert for Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz in March 1807.

The Estonian conductor took control of the Coriolan in good style, and the SCO’s handling of the interplay between the two main themes, one more aggressive, one tender, set us up for more intricate extensions of sharply contrasting moods in the two longer pieces that followed. At one point I wondered if the chamber orchestra’s resources might be adequate for the big acoustic space of City Halls; but with some augmentation of the strings for the concerto and symphony this concern was set aside.

The performance of the Swiss-Italian, Francesco Piemontese in the 4th Piano Concerto was impressive from the outset. Never showy, he appeared relaxed throughout, emphatic when called for, and his tonal control was always attractively aligned with the SCO’s responsive playing. Beethoven’s idiosyncracies come through – critics have pointed to an almost improvisational style, with bold shifts in various aspects – key, tonic, dynamic – all of which the soloist, conductor and orchestra conveyed with spirit: from slow emergence and fluttering hesitation and embellishment to free-flowing, radiant energy. That old rascal, Castiglione used the word sprezzatura to describe “an easy facility in accomplishing difficult actions which hides the conscious effort that went into them”. Castiglione had scheming courtiers in mind; but this fine word for skill applied with apparent nonchalance catches Piemontesi’s playing precisely.

When the pianist returned for an encore, he happily teamed with the SCO guest leader Shunske Sato to give a restrained and sensitive rendering of (I think – my memory’s playing tricks!) the 2nd movement – adagio molto espressivo – of Beethoven’s Sonata no 5 for piano and violin. Anyway – a fine adagio duet. The 4th Symphony paced sweetly and slowly in, and then shifted to the suddenly contrasting elements we were by now expecting: sustained solemnity broken with crashing chords and hints of menace, pianissimo passages, sunny and cheery vitality, premonition, uncertainty, followed by another headlong tilt. The second movement opens with a lovely, dying fall: here and throughout all the orchestral sections and Adrian Bending on the kettle drums, were especially effective. he raised tempi in the third and fourth movements seemed to suit Elst; the mix of charm and sombre recollection, rich tones moving into something more restive – though still carrying –  were freshly conveyed. For the close, everything was exerted: the chase went from sanguine to discordant, from hectic to clear determination. But whatever was being pursued, we were carried right along – and never lost sight of it. FOUR STARS

four-stars

Reviewer : Mr Scales

The Jesus & Mary Chain

Glasgow Barrowlands

Sunday 23d November

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Bible John’s sinister eidolon may well have been present among the number of dark-clothed profiles wandering through Jim Lambie’s album pathway at Barrowland Park, as Glasgow sons The Jesus and Mary Chain returned to the holiest of grounds in the Gallowgate area. Tonight’s gig at the Barrowlands was to commemorate the Mary Chain’s seminal-debut album Psychocandy, released in 1985. The unique scaffold-clanging, abrasive, chaotic and foggy havoc created by the brothers Jim and William Reid was a welcome release from the New Romantic scene forcing Simon Le Bon’s warbles on to the unsuspecting world. The brooding sexuality in the lyrics of songs such as Taste The Floor could almost pass for describing JAMC’s own blueprint for assaulting the music industry:

Here it comes.

Can’t you hear the sound of it?

Just like a big brass drum

and some cunts always scratching it?

This was never going to be a gig greeted by tribes of neon-stitched adolescents, but one would have expected a healthy share of fresh-faced music-goers after the ascent of contemporary bands such as The XX, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Crocodiles – all of whom owe a debt to the distinctive gloomy spell conjured up by the Mary Chain during the mid-1980s. Instead, it was largely an audience with whom the band has grown up with, and this could perhaps explain the pacific stance adopted by much of the crowd; or perhaps Sunday nights really does remove something from the live circuit.

Mercifully, it did not take away the performance on show. Strobe lights coruscating through every set of eyes, William Reid’s sonic assault of the senses during You Trip Me Up that would still be ringing when daylight arrives, flares of feedback on songs such as Never Understand, and all the while Jim Reid standing with one hand gripped on the microphone, either spitting attitude on the crowd or lurking around the carnival of strings behind him. It was all just as it should be. Perhaps unfairly, the Mary Chain’s pop sensibility has often been overlooked and beguiling songs such as Just Like Honey and (the originally omitted from the first album) Some Candy Talking reminded the Barrowlands crowd just how bright the Reid brothers can be when it comes to crafting universal pop melodies – should the notion grab them.

The current five-piece Mary Chain have a good, solid understanding: Minimal chat, tight sound, and occasionally look up from your instrument at the audience. As a drummer for the band, Brian Young must wonder if he is in the greatest or the worst job in the world as pedals and cymbals are suitably whipped into a repetitive babel for the crowd to jerk and judder to. The drums intro for Sowing Seeds almost tricked the audience into believing Just Like Honey was being repeated, only for Jim’s controlled vocal to throw their adoring public off centre.

As the night dissolved your reviewer into a perspiring, bouncing shambles clinging to the front barrier (Speakers directly in front and promising future health issues), the Mary Chain left the stage without an encore despite a short and strange interval half-way through the set; the blinking crowd ushered to leave by the dazzling house lights. Sweated foreheads had turned grey hairs black once more, and a number of revellers couldn’t resist picking up a half-price t-shirt or poster outside the main entrance after being reminded exactly how fantastic their youth had been. It’s a nice thought to think that a number of Glasgow households will once again be adorned with posters of the Jesus & Mary Chain’s sneering faces upon their walls; in a frame, of course. FOUR STARS

four-stars

Reviewer : Stephen Watt

The Levellers

O2 ABC

Glasgow

21-11-14

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As we entered the hall having half-lost at smuggling in our miniature wines, The Selecter had already begun. Seeming quite vitriolic Pauline Black shouts there’s nothing good about nationalism before singing ‘Meanwhile in London’ and bursting into ‘London’s Burning’ with intense anger. She ended this with a relieved remark of, ‘I feel so much better now.’ As a scot who voted yes in the crowd, I felt this was a little harsh on us… luckily my mood was rescued by watching a fellow smuggler being caught with a wine bottle tail. It looks like the security have mellowed at 02 as the offending booze was confiscated as opposed to the usual ejection of said party from the building.

The band then got down to the business of all their bouncy classics. Black clearly feeling a little subdued by the fact that this was a Levellers crowd at the gig stated here’s a song you might recognize and right enough On My Radio got the crowd up the front and the whole room bouncing about albeit it wasn’t the ska professionalism you’d expect at a ska gig. There was definitely a different vibe from the last time I saw them play with the Skatalites in the HMV Picture House in Edinburgh but well worth it, there was some brilliant theatrical keyboard playing that was quite hilarious.

The Levellers came on with an explosion of white confetti and Beautiful Day. From the offing the sound, visuals and lighting are amazing and exactly what you’d expect from a band that have been doing since the early 90’s. Bless them as you get closer up they have aged and are visibly not as elastic as they used to be. But hey I saw the Skatalites one time at a festival and I’m pretty certain that one of them had a zimmer frame. The band played with the brass section of the Selecter and that was great to hear some new sounds to some old tunes. Unfortunately Pauline Black was lost when she dueted with Mark as was the regular female vocalist. Sorry ladies but those were weak performances.

It was interesting that although the Leve11ers have continued making new music that it is still the tunes that drove me out of my hometown in the mid 90’s are the same ones that are liked best today. They managed to create a real movement out of their music back then. We hear Hope Street, One Way, The Boatman….not in that order because I wasn’t taking notes but I was very surprised not to hear Men an Tol and was delighted to hear some one else shout out for it. A wee bit of dissent from the backbenches. Something a little more dark and atmospheric would have been nice to break it up a bit. I heard this tune performed live at the Barra’s during the Zeitgeist tour and it sent you straight out of the room and onto a foggy mystical stone circle, also it is my favorite. Chadwick quipped at this also saying that we the crowd had chosen these tunes…did you do an online thing asking people Mark? If you did I missed it! Regardless the gig was brilliantly performed without visibly tiring the lads out. Fair shout to them for playing the Devil went down to Georgia at the end. I wasn’t sure about the satanic salute that was encouraged throughout…I felt like I was at an 80’s Iron Maiden gig ….in fact I shouted “what the fuck was all that about?” To which Mark responded something like “we don’t get it either!” I was touched to be in a conversation that I don’t even think anyone else noticed. We had brought a wee caped super hero to to chuck at them but that was confiscated by the security. Obviously they were keen to take that home….along with the wine!

Reviewer : Sarah Marshall

The New Wallace Collection

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, November 21st, 2014  

There was a full house at the RCS for this Friday lunchtime concert featuring The New Wallace Collection brass ensemble, led by John Wallace, former principal at the Conservatoire and now Emeritus Professor of Brass. They were joined by the Royal Conservatoire Brass and soprano Julia Daramy-Williams. The opening item was ‘Concerto for 7 Trumpets and Timpani’, attributed to the 18thC German composer Johann Ernst Altenburg, though we learned that the piece was probably ‘handed down’ by his students. Fitting then, that the composition was played in sprightly and confident manner by student musicians, conducted by John Wallace, who kept things precise, while still conveying his enthusiasm by sashaying from the waist down – prompting a comment later from my companion that she liked the hang of his jacket.

 

In the Scottish première of Eddie McGuire’s sequence of five Songs from the North, members of the New Wallace Collection accompanied lyric sopano Julia Daramy-Williams, a singer in her second year of the Master of Music programme at RCS. Greenland, Iceland, volcanic and other northern landscapes provided settings for these musical voyages, as well as more familiar territory in the Hebrides and the River Clyde. There is also an underlying theme of goodwill and friendship, and the beautiful harmonic and counter-pointed interactions, most often with muted brass,  conveyed this well.

 

 

The qualities associated with a lyric soprano – warmth and brightness with a full, rich timbre – are certainly there in Julia Daramy-Williams’ voice; added to that she had composure, a lively sense of energy when the songs moved that way, and she rounded out everything wth clear assurance. The very experienced players, with trumpets, trombone, french horn, tuba (this had a mute about the size of traffic cone), showed how tact and virtuosity can be combined, and as a result McGuire’s fine songs were wonderfully conveyed. The virtuosity, this time on some historic instruments from the John Webb Collection, carried over into Jules Levy’s signature composition ‘Whirlwind Polka’. Here, John Wallace on cornet, John Miller, also on cornet, John Logan on French horn, Simon Johnson on a Sax trombone and Tony George on ophicleide chased us back to the heydays of Philadelphia and other American hotspots in the late 19th century.

 

Levy had competed with the Scottish-born Matthew Arbuckle and others for billing as the ‘World’s Greatest’ cornet player at the time; but when the white gloves went on and everything kicked off in Glasgow it was evident John Wallace still shaped right up with the best: though whether he was using an A shank and a high pitch slide to speed things on their way I couldn’t exactly tell. The final concert piece involved the Royal Conservatoire Brass group with the New Wallace Collection, conducted by John Logan, to give us Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition arranged for brass and percussion by Elgar Howarth. The composition, which started out as a piano solo, has gone through plenty of arrangements – Ravel’s orchestral one being especially popular – but the colour, and range and vitality of Howarth’s version is immediately attractive.

 

 

In the ‘Whirlwind Polka’ we had mischief, quixotic display and astonishing command. In this performance of Pictures at an Exhibition the ensemble playing brought out the full variety of moods and effects suggested in movement titles like ‘Ballet of the Chicks in Their Shells’, Catacombs’, Baba Yaga’ and ‘The Great Gate of Kiev’.  At the same time, the continuing link of the ‘Promenade’ and the conductor’s sure touch provided integrity. There was strength and lightness, there were rumbling undertones and a marche funèbre, then high tremolos, then something else ominous, then passages with squawks and mayhem, straight out of Daffy Duck. When things got solemn and impressive they never were ponderous. All the brass sections (trumpets, French horns, trombones and tubas), and the flugelhorn and the euphonium, and the two percussionists emerged with full credit. Delicacy of tone, drive and impulse, were properly achieved. There is a grand and stately flowering that leads to the finale, and when the conclusion was reached, and applause got underway, you could tell this was an audience that had got full value, that felt something special had come their way. FIVE STARS

5-stars

Reviewer : Mr Scales

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