West End Festival, Glasgow

Scottish Recorder Orchestra & Cathures Choir

Sunday June 13th 2010, Glasgow

2010 concert poster

In June, the Scottish Recorder Orchestra performed a concert to a packed audience in St. Bride’s Episcopal church as part of the West End Festival in Glasgow. It was venture that broke new ground for the orchestra as we were joined by the Glasgow Cathures Choir.  Under our conductor Eileen Silcocks, leader Ed Friday and conductor Katy Cooper of Cathures, the orchestra and choir produced a diverse range of music.  We had rehearsed together with no idea what would happen, but it all fitted together very well, much to everyone's relief.

The concert programme started with some interesting early religious pieces from 16th and 17th Century South America performed by choir and players.  These included Sancta Maria and the unpronounceable Xicochi Conetzintlé.

The orchestra then performed a 21st century piece by Dietrich Schnabel, Traumgesichte.  This piece represents dream images, sometimes with nightmare interludes and is music that both enchants and intrigues the listener. Judging by the audience reception it was a great hit.

The second half of the concert opened with the very beautiful Cantate Domino by Taeggio. This is set for two choirs, one entirely instrumental and the other a combination of voices and instruments, a joyous but complex piece. The instrumental only section had to work hard to compete with two major forces against them.

Cathures then treated the audience to Three Scots Songs, all quite different in mood. First the mournful but moving Flowers of the Forrest followed by a cheeky and coquettish O Whistle an’ I’ll Come tae ye my Lad. The Choir rounded off with Ae Fond Kiss, a love song to beat all love songs.

Another modern piece followed, Concertino No.4 for Contrabass Recorder by Steve Marshall. This really took the audience by surprise. The soloist, David Powell, is an enthusiastic Contra player and carried the orchestra and the listener through quiet pensive sections and vigorous Hip Hop with clapping and foot stamping.

Finally the choir and orchestra united to play three early Scottish songs, Woe Worth the Tyme, Depairte, Depairte and the well known and possibly one of the oldest Scottish songs. O Lusty May.

The combination of Recorder Orchestra and Choir made a good partnership. It also meant that the orchestra had a nice little break every now and then. It seemed that the members of the audience appreciated the concert. Those who came on a three line whip went away converted.

Eileen Silcocks conducts several orchestras. She teaches on many courses throughout Europe and plays with her recorder quintet, Flauti Animati Scotica.  Katy Cooper is a Teaching Fellow at Glasgow University Music Department. She also sings with folk-group ‘Muldoon’s Picnic

Jean MacDonald

Concert programme - Poster