Felix Mendelssohn was born two hundred years ago and this we celebrated in the first half of the concert. To set the scene was his stand-alone overture, The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) which has two themes, the first the stunning beauty of the island of Staffa seen while sailing in 1829, when it was owned by an Edinburgh lawyer, a forebear of the reviewer, and the second the sound of rolling waves.
The Violin Concerto in E minor was popular from its first performance and has remained a favourite ever since. The first movement is the most substantial, the second lyrical and slow and the third a jaunty showpiece for the violin. Anna-Liisa Bezrodny, the soloist, was born in Moscow in 1981 to musical parents and began her violin studies when aged two. Since then she has won substantial prizes, performed in prestigious venues and festivals all over the world to huge acclaim. Her performance for us was magical.
After the interval we enjoyed the four movements of the popular Bruckner Symphony No 7 in E with its comparatively rare use of four Wagner tubas. Combining elements of both the horn and the tuba the sound is mellower than that of the horn and sounds more distant. The Adagio's slow mournful music laments Wagner's imminent death. Under the distinguished baton of Edinburgh born Robert Dick the large orchestra of almost 70 players made loud and exciting music that filled every corner of Greyfriars Kirk.
Times: 23 Aug only