Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) announces six new online concerts for Spring 2021, broadcast for free. During March and April, concerts include the World Premiere of SCO Associate Composer Anna Clyne’s Overflow, guest artists such as baritone Marcus Farnsworth and oboist Nicholas Daniel, works by Vítězslava Kaprálová and Dani Howard, and a version of Prokofiev’s Sonata for Solo Violin in D major played by 8 violinists. Filmed at The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh and Perth Concert Hall, the concerts will be broadcast via SCO’s YouTube and Facebook channels and available for catch up for 30 days.
Gavin Reid, Chief Executive, Scottish Chamber Orchestra says: “I know I speak for everyone at the SCO when I say that it’s wonderful to be able to announce this next series of free, online concerts. Having temporarily paused filming back in January in response to the developing situation with the pandemic, it is excellent to have our musicians back together making fantastic music and we can’t wait to share that with our audiences across Scotland and far beyond.
“As always, I would like to extend my special thanks to the Dunard Fund, our Business Partners and those generous individuals whose donations and support have played such a large part in enabling us to keep making music, and to share this freely online for all to enjoy.”
Thursday 4 March, 7:30pm In the first concert of March, players from the SCO perform Sir James MacMillan’s Tuireadh with Maximiliano Martín as soloist. Gaelic for lament or requiem, Tuireadh is dedicated to the victims of the Piper Alpha disaster where 167 men died in the fire of an offshore oil and gas platform in the North Sea. The piece was specifically inspired by a letter from the mother of one of the dead men in which she described how a spontaneous keening sound rose gently from the mourners assembled at the memorial service; Tuireadh attempts to capture this outpouring of grief in music. Also in the programme are Britten’s Phantasy Quartet and Prokofiev’s Quintet in G Minor.
Thursday 11 March, 7.30pm
This concert features a pairing of piano quartets: Mozart’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor and Fauré’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in C minor, performed by Maria Włoszczowska(violin), Felix Tanner (viola) and Philip Higham (cello) with Susan Tomes (piano).
Thursday 18 March, 7.30pm
This concert includes Prokofiev’s Sonata for Solo Violin in D major played by 8 violinists as well as Prelude & Scherzo: Two Pieces for String Octet by Shostakovich. Also in the programme is Bacewicz’s Wind Quintet and Trio for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon by 20th Century Czech composer, Vítězslava Kaprálová.
The final concert of March has a focus on percussion. Dani Howard’s Shades illustrates a walk through the graffiti-filled streets of London by combining solo percussion with loop pedal, whilst the scores for both Pärt’s Fratres and Louis Andriessen’s Workers’ Union come without strict instrumentation. The latter is a political work where everyone plays in unison throughout, one voice united in delivering the same message and it is simply intended for any loud-sounding group of instruments. Pärt’s Fratres is heard here in an arrangement for string quartet and percussion. Also performed are Reich’s Nagoya Marimbas, Purcell’s G minor Chacony and D Major Fantasia ‘Three parts upon a Ground’.
Thursday 8 April, 7.30pm
Baritone Marcus Farnsworth joins the SCO for a concert of baroque rarities including music by Telemann, Muffat, Biber, Froberger and JC Bach.
Thursday 15 April, 7.30pm
In April, there is the World Premiere of Overflow by SCO Associate Composer Anna Clyne. Oboist Nicholas Daniel directs SCO Wind Soloists in the new piece which is inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem By The Sea, in which the reader experiences the ocean’s power over the poet’s imagination – alluring, unsettling and dangerous. The piece takes its title from the line ‘would overflow with pearl’ which reminded Clyne of an image from Jalaluddin Rumi’s poem Where Everything is Music, whereby the tiniest motion of a pearl on the ocean floor can cause great waves above. The opening sonority of Overflow also draws inspiration from Rumi’s words of a ‘slow and powerful root that we can’t see,’ with a low B-flat, the lowest pitch of the ensemble, emerging from silence. The programme also features Caplet’s Suite Persane, and Dvořák’s Czech Suite in Graham Sheen’s arrangement for wind dectet.
These online concerts will be in addition to SCO’s continuing bitesize Listen at Lunchtime concert series where – each Friday throughout February and into March – the SCO looks back at some highlights from the recent 2020 digital concert series. Each concert focuses on one or two works lasting no more than 40 minutes in total, with special new introductions from a member of the Orchestra.