BBC SSO - MacCunn, Chisholm, Spratt, MacMillan (part 2)
In a special Monday-night concert to mark Commonwealth Day, Glasgow -the home of this summer's Commonwealth Games, and formerly 'second city of the Empire'- hosts a concert of music which has its origins in the west of Scotland.
Live from City Halls in Glasgow
Presented by Jamie MacDougall
MacCunn: The Ship o' the Fiend
Chisholm: Piano Concerto No.2 (Hindustani)
Alasdair Spratt: Obsess
James MacMillan: The Confession of Isobel Gowdie
Danny Driver (piano)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
James MacMillan (conductor)
The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra opens with a work by Hamish MacCunn. Born in 1868 in the town of Greenock, a significant Scottish port at the time, his dramatic overture "The Ship o' the Fiend" has sea-faring in mind, though not from a Scottish source, and concerning a vessel of a ghostly nature.
In the early Twentieth-Century composer Eric Chisholm was known as 'McBartok'. Although of Scottish origin he exercised a keen interest in a wide range of international folk music idioms. He spent much time living and researching in Cape Town South Africa, and his Piano Concerto No. 2 draws material from Hindustani themes and the concepts of raga. It is performed by Danny Driver.
Alasdair Spratt is a young composer who was born in Glasgow and his work "Obsess" for mixed ensemble -first heard in Manchester in 2003- is inspired by the idea of obsessive negative introspection.
As a composer and a conductor James MacMillan is one of the most significant international musicians to emerge from Scotland in recent years. This evening he concludes the programme with his own "The Confession of Isobel Gowdie", a work of passion and immediacy it draws inspiration from 'witchcraft' executions in Scotland during the Reformation, including the hysterical and sadistic burning-at-the-stake of the titular 'witch'. It is a dramatic and programmatic work: setting out to explore ideas of good and evil, persecution and cultural insecurity, and ultimately attempting to "capture the soul of Scotland in music.".