Tuesday 12 February 2013

Gorecki and more - Scottish Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall

Scottish Ensemble, La Follia
The Scottish Ensemble, artistic director Jonathan Morton, are the the Wigmore Hall again next week (21 February 2013) with an intriguing programme which includes music by Britten, Vivaldi, Gorecki, Holst and Geminiani. The concert's publicity emphasises the La Follia, with Germiniani's Concert Grosso of that name. But the two Gorecki works in the programme are equally fascinating and both look back to the past in different ways. His intriguing Harpsichord Concerto, with its modern use of an old instrument, was premiered in 1980 in Poland with Elzbieta Chojnacka playing the solo part. Jan Waterfield will be performing the solo part at the Wigmore Hall. Also in the programme are Gorecki's Three Pieces in Old Style from rather earlier in the composer's career; the pieces all integrate music from early Polish sources. And this sense of looking backwards is carried over into other works in the programme.

Jonathan Morton is the soloist in Vaughan Williams' Concerto Academico, a violin concerto written very much in homage to Bach. Holst's St Paul's Suite, written for the pupils of St Paul's School, also contains echoes of the past. In Britten's Simple Symphony it is the composer's own music that he is looking back on, having created the string symphony from fragments of his juvenilia. 

The programme opens with Geminiani's Concerto Grosso 'La Follia' and Vivaldi's Concerto grosso op3 No. 10 completes things.

The Scottish Ensemble are performing the programme on a short tour, opening in Dundee on 14 February and taking in Edinburgh (15/2), Glasgow (16/2),  Inverness (17/2), Aberdeen (18/2), Perth (19/2), finishing at Wigmore Hall on 21/2. Further details from the Scottish Ensemble's website.

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