SOUNDS OF SCOTLAND
Verdi | Overture to Macbeth
MacCunn | The Land of the Mountain and the Flood
Paul McCartney | Spiral
Maxwell Davies | An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise
Mendelssohn | Symphony No. 3(Scottish)
Scotland’s rugged, island-bound geography and the romantic history of its tartan-wearing clans have captivated audiences for centuries, right up to today’s streamers of Outlander. Setting the tone for the ECSO’s February 24 concert will be the overture to Giuseppe Verdi’s 1847 opera Macbeth, based on William Shakespeare’s tragedy about the murderous 11th-century Scottish general.
Hamish MacCunn’s The Land of the Mountain and the Flood, first performed in London’s Crystal Palace in 1887, evokes the breathtaking Scottish landscape. Its title is from a Walter Scott poem, The Lay of the Last Minstrel. Former Beatle Paul McCartney’s heritage is Irish, not Scottish, but he composed the 10-minute classical work Spiral while living on a farm in Scotland in 1999, the year after the death of his wife Linda.
Next, with a guest appearance at the end by bagpiper Mike MacNintch, the ECSO will play An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise by Peter Maxwell Davies. Commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and premiered in 1985 under the baton of John Williams, the piece is based on an all-night wedding celebration attended by the composer.
Following intermission, the program will conclude with German composer Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, known as the “Scottish,” completed in 1842 after a gestation that began with the 20-year-old Mendelssohn’s three-week visit to Scotland in 1829.
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