Tuesday 16

Glasgow FREE Organ Recital: Kevin Bowyer Glasgow University Memorial Chapel, The Square, off University Avenue, 1.10pm. Kevin Bowyer continues Vierne’s 24 Pièces en Style Libre with numbers 13–18. Many Happy Returns Ramshorn Theatre, 98 Ingram Street, 548 2558. 1.15pm. £4. Pianist Katharine Durran and cellist Veronica Henderson perform works by Chopin and Schumann in the year of both composers’ bicentenaries. Edinburgh FREE The Edinburgh Quartet Reid Concert Hall, Edinburgh University, Bristo Square, 650 2427. 1.10pm. Soprano Emma Morwood and pianist Jonathan Fisher join the ensemble in a performance of works including Berg’s Sieben Frühe Lieder and Ravel’s Cinq Mélodies Populaires Grecques. Organ Recital: Simon Nieminski St Mary’s RC Cathedral, York Place, 8pm. Retiring collection. The organist performs Guilmant’s virtuosic Sonata No 1 and a selection of works spanning the 17th to 21st centuries.

Wednesday 17

Glasgow FREE University Mass for Ash Wednesday St Columba’s Church, 74 Hopehill Road, 7pm. Strathclyde University Chamber Choir performs a specially written motet by James MacMillan, along with some music from the Scottish renaissance. Edinburgh FREE Tovey Memorial Prize Competition Final Reid Concert Hall, Edinburgh University, Bristo Square, 650 2427. 2pm. This year’s finalists compete for the annual Tovey Memorial Prize, which is awarded to the music student who shows the greatest promise in composition or performance.

Glenrothes Fife Electronic Organ Society Concert Glenwood High School, South Parks Road, 01592 264820. 7.15pm. £6 (children free). Diverse music and song featuring guest artist Brett Wales and his Wersi Scala organ.

Kirkcaldy Kirkcaldy Music Society St Peter’s Church, Townsend Place, 01592 890375. 7.30pm. £10 (£3). The Carducci String Quartet performs Haydn, Moeran and Beethoven. St Andrews Lunchtime Concert Younger Hall, North Street, 01334 462226. 1.15pm. £2 (members free). Classical guitarist Matthew McAllister performs works by Bach, Brower and Maxwell Davies.

Classical Music


Way back in the 60s, when the Scottish Ensemble was born, it was christened the Scottish Baroque Ensemble. Although a group always admired for pushing boundaries, a programme featuring music by Belgian singer/songwriter Jacques Brel 40 years down the line could hardly have been foreseen for an outfit that originally focussed on instrumental music of the baroque period. Performing the wry, tortured songs of Brel is the

Scottish Ensemble’s favourite tenor, Toby Spence. ‘My entangling with Jacques Brel goes back quite a long way,’ he says, ‘although the first time I came across him was through the song ‘Voir un Ami Pleurer’ (To see a friend cry), which as it turned out, wasn’t his best song. It’s a sickly and insipid kind of song.’ However, it was enough to lead Spence into further investigation of this unorthodox character who, long after his death, remains

the most popular singer in the French language and still sells more than 200,000 albums each year. When, in the pub one night after a Wigmore Hall

performance, Spence mentioned to the Ensemble’s artistic director, Jonathan Morton, that he was interested in Brel’s music, Morton jumped at the chance to include the idea in the group’s 40th anniversary season. Morton grew up in Belgium listening to Jacques Brel and felt that he too could contribute to a special celebratory concert. It is Brel’s directness with which Spence has most

affinity. ‘It’s the way he writes and performs and channels his often taboo subject matter into his music that I admire. His poetry is so rich,’ he says. ‘I’ve had to adopt his style and whether I can pull that off remains to be seen, but it makes it more exciting, more of a challenge. I don’t think that the audience will leave disappointed.’ (Carol Main) Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 12 Feb; The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow, Sat 13 Feb.

Thursday 18 Glasgow FREE Music in the University: Laurina Sableviciute Glasgow University Concert Hall, University Avenue, 330 4092. 1.10pm. A lunchtime piano recital featuring excerpts from S Vainiunas’ Eight Moods for piano, A Savanenkovaite’s A Journey of the Heart, works by Brahms, Chopin and Liszt, and Morricone’s Rag in Frantumi. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: Afternoon Performance City Halls, Candleriggs, 353 8000. 2pm. £7 (£6 in advance). Christoph König and Martyn Brabbins

conduct an afternoon performance to be recorded for BBC Radio 3, opening with Hungarian composer Carl Goldmark’s Overture: Im Fruhling. Ailsa Weilerstein is soloist in Schumann’s Cello Concerto and lastly, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 1 (‘Winter Daydreams’). Edinburgh Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Travels in Eastern Europe The Queen’s Hall, 87–89 Clerk Street, 668 2019. 7.30pm. £8.50–£26. A concert with an exotic flavour. Contrasting works by two Hungarian exiles Bartók’s Rumanian Folk Dances and Ligeti’s Ramifications are performed alongside

Mozart’s ‘Prague’ Symphony, and his Bassoon Concerto, performed by Peter Whelan. Robin Ticciati conducts. Perth RSNO: Järvi conducts Tristan and Isolde Perth Concert Hall, Mill Street, 01738 621031. 7.30pm. £8–£22.50. A theme of doomed love suffuses this concert, conducted by the great Neeme Järvi, beginning with Sibelius’s Pelléas and Mélisande. After the success of his epic orchestral version of Wagner’s Ring two seasons ago, Henk de Vlieger has turned his hand to Tristan and Isolde, compressing the opera into a symphonic work no mean feat.

27 Feb 8 May Theatre Royal Glasgow 0844 871 7647 Festival Theatre Edinburgh 0131 529 6000 (bkg fees apply)

Sung in Italian with English supertitles

Also touring to Inverness and Aberdeen. For details go to scottishopera.org.uk Registered in Scotland Number SCO37531 Scottish Charity Number SCO19787

4–18 Feb 2010 THE LIST 81