Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916). This lively concert kicks off with
MacCunns The Land of Mountain and Flood,
probably the best-known and best-loved of all the pieces on this disc. And
what a fine reading John Wilson gives us: thrilling, and splendidly paced
and articulated. Amazingly, this self-assured composition was penned when
the composer was only nineteen. The programme also includes MacCunns
Highland Memories written ten years later in 1897. Over its
two opening movements, By the Burnside and By the Loch, this
composition is quieter and sweetly nostalgic, while Harvest Dance
is an unlikely marriage of the main theme of the second movement of
Schuberts Great C Major Symphony and Charlie is My Darling!
Muir Mathieson (1911-73). Mathieson is of course remembered for his
huge contribution to the music for British films. He not only persuaded many
influential composers like Vaughan Williams to contribute scores but he also
skilfully arranged and orchestrated others film music. But he was also
an accomplished composer as his Suite From the Grampians
proves. Loch Laggan, a stirring march, based on his march which opened
each days transmission of Grampion Television, is followed by the serene
and captivating Shuna Island Song. In Glengarry A
Highland Steam, is a sparkling, shimmering little evocation while The
Spital of Glenshee Strathspey and Reel is spirited, with all its
twists and turns and accents beautifully articulated by the Royal Ballet
Marcus Dods (1918-84) became assistant to Muir Mathieson but later
took charge of such films as Far From the Madding Crowd and Death
on the Nile. He is represented by his little Highland
Fancy, written for his second wife, Deirdre Lind when she was principal
oboe in the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Muir Mathiesons cousin Cedric Thorpe Davie (1913-83) was prolific;
his output included music for radio, theatre and 24 films. He is represented
by his Royal Mile Coronation March, composed
in 1952 in anticipation of the celebrations of the Coronation of Elizabeth
II the following year. The work inevitably has a strong Scottish character.
Buxton Orr (1924-97) is represented by his Fanfare and
Processional which is quite self-explanatory, except that this piece
of brass writing is for strings, but it is nonetheless imposing.
Iain Hamiltons (b. 1922) Scottish Dances are another
lively and colourful invention. They blend traditional and modern forms so
that on occasion you feel as though you are in the world of Saturday nights
in the dance halls of the early 1960s.
Sir Hugh Roberton (1874-1952) was, oddly enough, a funeral director
by profession. He wrote or arranged many fine pieces for choir. By far the
most popular was All in the April Evening. Included
here is Philip Lanes arrangement for strings. Lane also acted as producer
on this album.
A highly enjoyable album and another feather in young John Wilsons
Land of Mountain and Flood