Classical concert review: Scottish Chamber Orchestra - Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
THERE’S an interesting breed of Australian composers emerging in the wake of such recent pioneers as Peter Sculthorpe and Brett Dean.
The Scotsman’s Classical CD review reveals one today (Ross Edwards), but over the weekend the SCO premiered a flute concerto, Captain Flinder’s Musick, commissioned from Gordon Kerry, a native of New South Wales.
Is there anything particularly Australian about this new work, which featured as soloist the SCO’s principal flute Alison Mitchell, herself from that part of the world? Yes, in that the music’s elusive, mercurial character often distances itself from soundscapes that are familiar to us – eerie interjections of ethereal harmonics, like cacophonous whispers, taking us into the magical exotic landscapes of Crocodile Dundee.
Functionally, they offset the patchwork quotes from 18th century European music, which Kerry uses to allegorise the story of the adventurer mentioned in the title, the bold but musically-gifted Matthew Flinders.
Mitchell and the SCO, under the authoritative baton of Olari Elts, captured the music’s restless spirit, which is alluring at one level, but strangely elusive at another, as if the composer is deliberately suppressing his own personality.
Film music dominated the rest of Saturday’s programme: the bluesy commercial side of Takemitsu in his Three Film Scores, Saint-Saëns’ thrusting silent film music for The Assassination of the Duke of Guise, and more substantially Shostakovich’s wickedly satirical Suite from New Babylon, complete with the realisation that the Can-Can works as a perfect countermelody to the Marseillaise.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West