Edinburgh News: music
Paul Dukas composed the nine minute piece The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in 1897 based upon Goethe’s ballad Der Zauberlehrling. But it was Walt Disney who made the tune so familiar to us today when he used it in 1940 for the animated Mickey Mouse film Fantasia.
Peter Oundjian will become the next Music Director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). The celebrated British-Canadian musician succeeds Frenchman Stéphane Denève, who departs at the end of the 2011/12 Season.
The pianist Alasdair Cameron had a varied programme in his concert at the Queen's Hall. He began with a selection of pieces by Mozart - Fantasy in D minor, Rondo in D major and Rondo in A minor - which were played with precision and a lightness of touch, enhancing the dynamic contrasts in the compositions.
Speed of Light, created by public art organisation NVA, is today confirmed as being funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to create a cultural legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games across the UK.
The orchestra string section featured prominently in this diverse programme conducted by the energetic, flamboyant guest conductor Joseph Swensen.
This is a revival of Scottish Ballet’s sparkling production, (premiered in 2005) which spruces up the nursery story with a flamboyant, fashionable makeover by artistic director Ashley Page and designer Antony McDonald.
As a lifelong Edinburgh resident, I have experienced the Capital’s Christmas and New Year Festival celebrations over many years, (dating back to the days when over 300,000 unticketed spectators crammed onto Princes Street on 31 December). I often think I should become jaded by the annual display of sparkling trees, ice rink, music, song and dance, with fireworks at midnight.
It was a delight to hear and indeed to watch an up-and-coming operatic soprano, Sarah Tynan, sing four songs in German (we had the translations) as part of the New Year Viennese Gala.
With freezing temperatures and bone-chilling winds you could be tempted to stay indoors curled up on the sofa.
What could be better in these cold days of coalition than a warm evening of real collaboration between artists at a theatre whose name means ‘something that crosses another’ and whose event title is a terrific pun on this ‘new way to experience poetry’, TraVerses?
A large audience was in the George Square Theatre for the fifth anniversary and Festive Concert of Loud and Proud. There were just over thirty singers, two thirds women, with an excitingly varied programme sung a cappella (with no accompanying music).
Paul Rissmann, the presenter, had produced some really good graphics for the screen above the orchestra to illustrate his lecture. Indeed they had a warmth of colour about them that was enticing and thoroughly comfortable to watch whilst we listened to the music.
John Whitener, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Principal Tuba player, is an American and was well placed to give us a real sense of twentieth century American classical music in his pre-concert talk.
Handel's Messiah, written in 1741, in only three and half weeks, is one of the most popular choral works ever to be performed.
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra concert at the Queen's Hall spanned two centuries - from 1813 to 2010. Conducted by the guest Finnish conductor John Storgards, the first piece on the programme was Symphony No 5 (Symphony for Strings) in three movements by the American composer William Schuman.
In front of St Cuthbert’s altar there were nine tiers of red seats for the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union with the ladies at the back and men in front, and in front and to their side the Edinburgh Youth Choir. On the other side were the timpanist’s drums. On came their conductor, Michael Bawtree, in a fetching red waistcoat, to start a fascinating programme.