It was the title of the concert which intrigued me - Scottish composers for the violin. And we were off the starter’s mark with a very jolly work by Sir John Clerk of Penicuik. He lived from 1676 to 1755 and composed the work as a young man, possibly during his Grand Tour when he spent time in Rome. There he learned to play the violin under Arcangelo Corelli. By 1700 John Clerk had been called to the Bar and had no more time for composing.
Sir Alexander Mackenzie lived between 1847 and 1935. His father had conducted Edinburgh’s Theatre Royal orchestra. He was in charge of the music at St George’s Church, Charlotte Square, (thence St Andrew’s and St George’s) from 1870, later to become principal of the Royal Academy of Music in London. We heard two of his works, the first, Benedictus, started slowly and grandly before speeding up very satisfactorily.
Sir John Blackwood McEwan was born in Hawick in 1868 and also rose to be principal of the Royal Academy of Music. He died in 1948. His delightful Martinmas Tide was first published in 1921, although written earlier.
Works from living composers followed. From Noon to Dawn by David Doward and then on the viola alone for Gareth Clemson’s The Clearing, composed last year. Gareth Clemson was with us and took his bow at the end of the piece.
Gilmour Macleod played an early Pavane and galliard from Duncan Burnett’s Book of 1610. The concert concluded with violin and piano playing Peter Maxwell Davies’ Dances from The Two Fiddlers.
The enthusiasm of Lawrence Dunn and Gilmour Macleod and their cultivated exuberance, let alone the clear and informative introductions, made this a very special lunchtime concert.
Event: Tuesday 9 August, 12.30pm