The Scottish Recorder Orchestra

Sunday 10 June 2007 at 6.30 p.m.
Queen's Cross Church, Aberdeen
in aid of the
National Youth Recorder Orchestras

conductor: Eileen Silcocks

The 2007 Scottish Recorder Orchestra concert took place in the ‘Granite city’ of Aberdeen at Queen’s Cross Parish Church on Sunday 10 June. Built in 1881, the church is a splendid example of late Victorian architecture. It has a strong musical tradition and holds a regular programme of Sunday afternoon concerts, so we were in good musical company.

The Orchestra has grown in membership over the last year and has rehearsed with Eileen Silcocks and the Orchestra leader, Ed Friday since September. For Ed, the venue was on home ground. He only had to nip round the corner. Eileen had chosen a programme of early religious music and secular contemporary works.

The programme included the complex but very exciting Sento, sent’un rumor a otti voci by Andrea Gabrieli. This is a kind of call to battle and only the skill of the conductor could hold the troops together. We then moved on to have a really happy and cheeky time with Dietrich Schnabel’s 7x7, a very tongue in cheek work. Reverting to a more serious note we continued with Hassler’s ach, Weh des Leiden, one of those pieces that have relatively simple notes but the combined sound is almost painfully beautiful and the church acoustic made it ethereal. Steve Marshall is a favourite with the orchestra and this year we tackled his Symphony No.1 for Recorder Orchestra. This work is so varied in tempi and mood that we were kept very much on our toes. The concentration must have formed an aura around us as we changed from Scherzo to calm and back to a frantic Finale.

We finished the performance with Lyndon Hilling’s Midsummer Meadow Suite. This work starts with a Pavan, then moves into Beckett’s Well with its continuing trickle of water and through the mad stream of notes for the Carnival movement. There must have been quite a riotous time at that carnival.

There was a good-sized audience and they were most appreciative, judging by the enthusiastic applause. We even had to take a couple of bows for our performance. The interest of some of the audience enabled them to approach players and examine the range of instruments afterwards. The audience was also generous in monetary terms as we raised £272.50p for NYRO funds.

The orchestra would like to express our thanks to Val Flook and the Aberdeen branch as well as the church officers for ar ranging the concert.

Jean Macdonald

Concert Programme