City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

A Little Book of Monsters, Usher Hall, Review


By John A Hamilton - Posted on 09 February 2013

5
Monsters
Show Details
Venue: 
The Usher Hall
Production: 
Paul Patterson (composer) The Three Little Pigs, Stephen Deazley (composer) A Little Book of Monsters
Performers: 
The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Edinburgh Primary Schools' Choir, James Lowe (conductor), Matthew Sharp (narrator), Matt Harvey (poet)
Running time: 
120mins

A bustling foyer and lively auditorium suggested an interesting afternoon of programmatic 'monster story' music was to be expected, this was confirmed by the many monster face painted children rushing around.

The great dramatist Henrik Ibsen asked Grieg to compose incidental music for his play about a rough Norwegian peasant boy called Peer Gynt and his adventures involving his old flame, Ingrid.

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra commenced the afternoon's programme with music from Peer Gynt, suite No 1, Op. 45 – this was a most enjoyable performance full of charm, passion and simplicity, all characteristics of the music of Grieg. Four movements from the work were enthusiastically and descriptively introduced by Matthew Sharp (narrator).

The Three Little Pigs (2004), composed by Paul Patterson, was a most entertaining and captivating musical story based on the demise and resourcefulness of three pigs. The professional interaction of orchestral timbres and dynamics, and the lively delivery of the story by the narrator certainly fascinated the impressionable imaginations of the children - perhaps their parents, grandparents and family friends too!

A Little Book of Monsters by Stephen Deazley (composer) and Matt Harvey (poet), formed the second half of the programme. This orchestral premier, based on a collection of imaginative monster character stories, provided a wonderful opportunity for pupils from the Edinburgh Primary Schools' Choir to collaborate and experience the work of the combined talent of members of The Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

The choir performed with much enthusiasm and musicality, and must be applauded for learning a number of, at times, complex melodies and tongue twisting, lengthy lyrics. During this work the audience were treated to two cleverly observed and amusing poems written by Matt Harvery, and, again, a wonderfully interactive performance of The Hideous Bloat by Matthew Sharp. The afternoon concluded with hearty applause for James Lowe (conductor), Matthew Sharp (narrator), Matt Harvey (poet) and Stephen Deazley (composer), from a capacity, Usher Hall audience which spanned generations – babies to grandparents – testament to the support for creative music experiences for young people.

Time: Saturday 9th February, 2013 at 3pm