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.

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