Scottish Chamber Orchestra - 40th Anniversary Edition - Sinfini Music
06 February 2014Sinfini Music
It's more usual to receive rather than give
presents on your birthday - but the Scottish Chamber Orchestra has never been
known for its slavish adherence to convention. The ensemble celebrates its
fortieth anniversary by presenting fans with a cherry-picked disc of three
standout performances from the last decade or so, each from a different
conductor associated with the ensemble. As birthday treats go, it's a knockout.
The meat of the disc
is a 2007 performance of Mozart's
Jupiter Symphony from by the orchestra's Conductor Laureate Charles
Mackerras (1925 -
1910). His interpretation received multiple international awards when it was
released, and it's not hard to hear why. The clarity of texture is astonishing;
the intimacy of the sound is captivating; and the whole performance glows with
spontaneity and wit. Mackerras's sense of youthful fizz only seemed to increase
as he aged, and this account is a fine tribute to his talents.
Also on the disc is a
delicately austere performance of Wagner's Siegfried Idyll from current Principal Conductor Robin
Ticciati. There's none of the swoopy-swoony sentimentality which can mar this
musical love-letter (Wagner wrote it as a birthday present for his wife
Cosima). Instead Ticciati encourages an almost vibrato-free sound and a
restrained palette of colours, and the result is a gorgeous, gleaming account.
Between the other two items is Sibelius's The Tempest: Suite No. 2
from 2003 with former Principal Conductor Joseph Swensen. The second suite
contains the more intimate numbers from Sibelius's incidental music for
Shakespeare's play - including a light-footed triple-time 'Dance of the
Nymphs', and a touchingly fragile portrait of Miranda - and Swensen does a fine
job with them.
Related LinksJoseph SwensenRobin TicciatiScottish Chamber OrchestraSir Charles MackerrasScottish Chamber Orchestra: 40th Anniversary Edition