mon 21/05/2018

Scotland

Wang, RSNO, Oundjian, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - percussion sets Shostakovich's 'Leningrad' ablaze

Featuring two Russian composers, the two halves of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s programme could hardly have been more different. In the first, pianist Xiayin Wang (pictured below) joined the RSNO for Scriabin’s florid, rarely-heard...

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Dickson, SCO, Swensen, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh review - world premiere of a bold new work

It’s as intricate as it is concise. The depth to the architecture of James MacMillan’s Saxophone Concerto – which was given its world premiere this week by saxophonist Amy Dickson and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra – is quite astounding, and all the...

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CD: National Jazz Trio of Scotland - Standards Vol.IV

The National Jazz Trio of Scotland are not really that at all. With a name designed to sound like a stiffly formal unit they are, in fact, an entity based around Bill Wells, a Scottish institution, albeit an alternative one. He’s been around the...

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Martín, SCO, Ticciati, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - farewell to the best of chief conductors

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s final season concert conducted by Robin Ticciati, who leaves his post as chief conductor of the SCO for the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, was bound to be an emotional occasion. Spanning a decade, the...

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10 Questions for Musician Malcolm Middleton

Malcolm Middleton (b.1973) is a Scottish singer-songwriter whose music has a devoted fanbase. Instead of the faux-vulnerable, non-specific, sub-Jeff Buckley flannel touted by many of his contemporaries and younger peers, Middleton’s work is grounded...

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Sonoro, Ferris, St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate review - intriguingly programmed launch concert

Launched into an already crowded choral scene in 2016, the professional choir Sonoro has marked its second birthday with the release of a debut CD. Last night was the launch concert, featuring items selected from the disc. On the evidence of both CD...

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Macbeth, Wilton's Music Hall review - incisive and thrilling dance theatre

There’s more than a touch of vaunting ambition in the idea of turning the Scottish Play into dance theatre. Without spoken text, named scenes or even a printed synopsis, it falls to choreography and direction to speak for them all. Thus the most...

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Emil Nolde: Colour Is Life, National Gallery of Ireland review - boats, dancers, flowers

Colours had meanings for Emil Nolde. “Yellow can depict happiness and also pain. Red can mean fire, blood or roses; blue can mean silver, the sky or a storm.” As the son of a German-Frisian father and a Schleswig-Dane mother, Nolde was raised in a...

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Art UK, Art of the Nation review - public art in a private space

Art fairs are vaguely promiscuous. So much art, so many galleries, so very many curators. They’re a glut for the eye yet curiously anodyne — the ranks of white cubicles could belong to a jobs fair, except there’s a Miró round the corner. And it’s...

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The Best of AA Gill review - posthumous words collected

Word wizard. Grammar bully. Sentence shark. AA Gill didn’t play fair by syntax: he pounced on it, surprising it into splendid shapes. And who cared when he wooed readers with anarchy and aplomb? Hardly uncontroversial, let alone inoffensive (he...

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Tabula Rasa, Traverse Theatre review - honest, compassionate, but not always convincing

Collaboration and collegiality are becoming ever more important across the Scottish arts scene, it seems. Glasgow theatre company Vanishing Point teamed up with Scottish Opera earlier this year for a double-bill based around Bartók’s Bluebeard’s...

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Orpheus Caledonius, Brighton Early Music Festival review - a thrilling meeting of musical clans

In 1725 a collection of some 50 songs was published by one William Thomson. You might not know his name, or even the names of the songs, but given the first bar of most I’m betting you could hum them from beginning to end. The work? Orpheus...

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