Orkney: Tuesday 23rd June St Magnus Fest – Mendelssohn Octet

On impulse we decided to get the bus to Deerness as the sun had emerged for the first time since we arrived. It was still very cold and I had to buy a new scarf (pale blue merino Orkney wool).  The bus turned out to be the School Bus for Kirkwall Grammar.  This would be a cause for DREAD in London – a bus full of teenagers, eeek!  My terror was groundless, however, not only are they not as chubby as their London chums Orkney teenagers are about ten times quieter and better-behaved. Relieved, we could enjoy the stunning scenery.  Lovely big skies, violet sea, sunlight on one side and grey, dramatic lowering clouds on the other.  Very sturdy-looking lambs.  Incidentally, I had some of the local lamb at the Locano and I have to say it was delicious.  The bus dropped pupils at various remote stops along the way and, as we did not want to be late for our evening concert, we stayed on the bus at the end to get back to Kirkwall and St Magnus Cathedral in time.

Performance:

JUOZAS PAKALNIS                            Little Prelude
FAUSTAS LATENAS                           String Quartet No. 2, In Loving Memory OLAV ANTON THOMMESSEN        Felix Remix MENDELSSOHN                                  Octet

Players: ČIURLIONIS QUARTET 

JONAS TANKEVIČIUS – Violin
DARIUS DIKČAITIS – Violin
GEDIMAS DAČINSKAS – Viola
SAULIUS LIPČIUS – Cello

ENGEGÅRD QUARTET 
ARVID ENGEGÅRD – Violin
ALEX ROBSON – Violin
JULIET JOPLING – Viola
JAN CLEMENS CARLSEN – Cello

Orkney: Tuesday 23rd June – St Magnus Fest SCO Wind Soloists

We emerged from the reading to find the town teeming with passengers from a huge cruise ship moored in the harbour. Had a bust-up with Spanish man who would not share a large table in a very crowded caff.  Were saved by two very nice festival-goers who did share – living proof that classical music is a civilising influence.  Will try to remember this when next at ROH being mown down in rush to bar by savage bankers and lawyers.

We had time for coffee and a scone before dashing off to the next event, a concert by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra wind soloists.

Programme:

Mozart                         Overture, Il Seraglio
Jonathan Dove         Figures in the Garden
Handel                        Two arias for Wind Band HWV 410, 411
Beethoven                 Octet, Op. 103

Players:

Robin Williams                    Oboe
Rosie Staniforth                  Oboe
Maximiliano Martin          Clarinet
William Stafford                 Clarinet
Federico Aluffi                     Bassoon
Alison Green                        Bassoon
Alec Frank-Gemmill         Horn
Harry Johnstone                Horn

The Jonathan Dove piece was commissioned by Glyndebourne in 1991. The brief was a wind serenade based on a Mozart opera to be played outdoors before performances.  In Jonathan Dove’s own words:

I had the idea that with all the performances of The Marriage of Figaro that had taken place at Glyndebourne, sounds from the opera had in some way impregnated the garden:  snatches of recitative, musical figures, instrumental colours.”

It was a wonderful piece.