SCOTTISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA ERKKI-SVEN TÜÜR PREMIERE Symphonies of the North, City Halls, Glasgow, Fri 30 April; Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 1 May

With a population of just over 1 million, Estonia, one of the EU’s newer small countries, is significantly smaller than Scotland. While new in terms of joining the EU, Estonia is, of course, like Scotland in that it is a much more ancient and historic nation that punches above its weight in terms of culture and the arts. Its capital, Tallinn, will be European Capital of Culture next year but, for now, two of Estonia’s most prominent artists come to Scotland as part of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Spring season under the banner Symphonies of the North. Tallinn born conductor Olari Elts is a long-time champion of the music of compatriot Erkki-Sven Tüür. His Symphony No 8, which was commissioned and is being premiered by the SCO, was written at Elts’ suggestion.

‘It is almost like a chamber symphony’ says Tüür, ‘with several

chamber-like passages, but the intense tectonic shifts between sound masses are equally important. So, I simply added it to the list of my symphonies without granting it a separate ‘chamber symphony’ status.’

Talking about his music more generally, he describes his pieces as ‘abstract dramas in sound, with characters and an extremely dynamic chain of events; they unfold in a space that is constantly shifting, expanding and contracting.’

The new symphony is divided into three movements, each one instructed on the score to be performed attacca, a musical term meaning pretty much ‘get on with it.’ Tüür says that the symphony has a sense of ‘being on the road’, with organic development and fluidity being crucial to the music. ‘The best approach I can recommend,’ he says, ‘is prejudice-free listening. This way, everyone can create their very own unique story while listening to the music.’ (Carol Main)

Wednesday 5

St Andrews FREE Youth Choir and Children’s Horn Ensembles Younger Hall, North Street, 01334 462226. 5pm. The young musicians give a performance, conducted by Gillian Craig and Margaret Douglass. Thursday 6

Glasgow Westbourne Music The Merchant House, 7 West George Street, 649 5347. 12.45pm. £7 (£3–£6). Rising star pianist Jill Crossland performs Bach’s English Suite No 2 and Mozart’s Piano Sonata in F, K 332. BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: Afternoon Performance City Halls, Candleriggs, 353 8000. 2pm. £7 (£6 in advance). Jennifer Koh performs Mendelssohn’s highly popular Violin Concerto, which shares the programme with Bruckner’s Symphony No 6. Enjoy a lunch of soup, sandwiches and cake for an extra £6.45 be sure to prebook this when buying tickets.

Edinburgh Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Schumann Mass The Queen’s Hall, 87–89 Clerk Street, 668 2019. 7.30pm. £8.50–£26 (concessions available). A rare opportunity to hear Schumann’s late Mass almost lost as his wife Clara, concerned that Schumann’s madness had affected the quality of his work, considered destroying it after his death. The work’s rescuer, Brahms, also appears on the bill with his Serenade No 2 and Four Seasonal Songs. John Storgards conducts. St Andrews Mussoc Windband and Chorus Younger Hall, North Street, 01334 462226. 7.30pm. £2 (members free). Evening concert.

Friday 7

Glasgow Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Schumann Mass City Halls, Candleriggs, 353 8000. 7.30pm. £11–£24 (concessions available). See Thu 6.

Paisley Chopin Recital Paisley Arts Centre, New Street, 887 1010. 7.30pm. £10 (£8). Young Polish pianist Aleksander Kudajczyk performs works by his fellow Pole in the year of the composer’s 200th birthday. The programme includes the brilliant Scherzo No 2, as well as works for cello and piano, featuring guest artist Barbara Misiewicz. St Andrews Baroque Orchestra St Salvator’s Chapel, North Street, 01334 462226. 8pm. £3–£5. Claire Garabedian conducts.

Saturday 8

Glasgow Senior and Chamber Choirs Concert RSAMD, 100 Renfrew Street, 332 5057. 4pm. £2 (£1). Chamber performances from Junior Academy students. Edinburgh The Kevock Choir The Queen’s Hall, 87–89 Clerk Street, 668 2019. 7.30pm. £5–£12. The 80-strong choir is conducted by Graham Lovett, featuring larger than life show favourites, folk songs, spirituals and religious pieces with special guests Opera on a Shoestring. Loud & Proud Spring Concert George Square Theatre, University of Edinburgh, George Square, 8pm. £9 (£7). A seasonal programme from Edinburgh’s LGBT a cappella choir.

Sunday 9

Glasgow FREE Kelvingrove Sunday Organ Recitals Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Argyle Street, 276 9599. 3–3.45pm. See Sun 2. Glasgow Lyric Choir: A Musical Journey RSAMD, 100 Renfrew Street, 332 5057. 7.30pm. £12 (£5–£10). The world premiere of Nick Chamberlain’s From a Railway Carriage, a setting of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem of the same name, shares the bill with vocal works by Schubert, Goodall, Elgar and others.

Edinburgh ✽✽ Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Chamber Concert The Queen’s Hall, 87–89 Clerk Street, 668 2019. 2.30pm. £12 (£10). The SCO Ensemble gives an afternoon concert of lush late Romantic works by Wolf, Brahms and Schoenberg, including the latter’s fervently expressive sextet Verklärte Nacht. St Giles’ at Six St Giles’ Cathedral, Royal Mile, 226 0673. 6pm. Retiring collection. Heriot Watt University’s choir sings music by Eric Whitacre and Steve King, alongside a selection of 16th- and 17th-century Scottish songs sung by Chorale Excelsior and Excelsior per cantum.

Tuesday 11

Glasgow Images of Norway Ramshorn Theatre, 98 Ingram Street, 548 2558. 1.15pm. £4. The Campbell Duo performs lyrical Norwegian pieces on flute and guitar works. Wednesday 12

Perth Beethoven: A Life in Eight Chapters Concert Hall, Mill Street, 01738 621031. 7.30pm. £10–£20 (£8–£18). In many ways the piano sonata is synonymous with Beethoven they span his entire career from his early classical-influenced works to the intense, personal works of his later life, and over this time he transformed the genre. Leading pianist Llyr Williams will perform all 32 over 2010, with tonight’s

Classical Music Hitlist THE BEST CLASSICAL & OPERA*

✽✽ RSNO: Britten’s War Requiem One of the greatest compositions of the 20th century, Britten’s large-scale setting of poems by Wilfred Owen interspersed with parts of the Latin Requiem Mass was famously written for the reconsecration of Coventry Cathedral, bombed to destruction in World War II. Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 30 Apr; Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Sat 1 May. ✽✽ Barony Organ Launch The University of Strathclyde presents its new Bach-style organ which gives additional performance opportunities in the city to complement the range of those offered by the later Romantic period instruments already in use, with a view to establishing Glasgow as an international study centre for organ repertoire. Barony Hall, Glasgow, Sun 2 May. ✽✽ Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Chamber Concert String players from the SCO play Verklärte Nacht (meaning Transfigured Night), one of Schoenberg’s most important and passionate pieces of music, inspired by the composer’s feelings after meeting Mathilde von Zemlinksy, the sister of his teacher and who later became his wife. Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 9 May.

third instalment covering numbers 12–15, which includes the famous ‘Moonlight’. Buy 3 for 2 or 8 for 6 on tickets. St Andrews Lunchtime Concert Younger Hall, North Street, 01334 462226. 1.15pm. £2 (members free). Pianist David Mowle performs Beethoven’s fantastic ‘Waldstein’ Sonata.

Thursday 13

Edinburgh Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Pires plays Beethoven Usher Hall, Lothian Road, 228 1155. 7.30pm. £8.50–£26 (concessions available). The SCO’s 2009/10 season draws to a close with a visit from one of today’s most sought after classical musicians, Portuguese pianist Maria Joao Pires, for Beethoven’s lovely Piano Concerto No 4. Mendelssohn’s Overture to The Fair Melusine and Mozart’s Symphony No 39 also feature. Trevor Pinnock conducts.

29 Apr–13 May 2010 THE LIST 81