Made in Scotland
The soul of Scotland in music
This article is from 2009.
A favourite of youth orchestras at the Fringe, Peter Maxwell Davies’ An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise makes it to the main EIF stage for the first time as part of an orchestral programme celebrating music made in Scotland. The only piece in the Festival to include bagpipes and swanee whistle in its scoring, it’s a true-to-life musical picture of a wedding where the guests’ enthusiasm for celebrating involves appropriate refreshment being taken into the wee sma’ hours. As dawn breaks over Caithness, a solo bagpiper appears at the back of the hall, marching proudly through the audience to take centre stage.
Originally commissioned by the Boston Pops Orchestra, it is the Royal Scottish National Orchestra who perform it in Edinburgh. More serious matters made in Scotland are Maxwell Davies’ Symphony No 5 and James MacMillan’s The Confession of Isobel Gowdie. In mid-17th-century Scotland, she was burnt at the stake for supposedly being a witch. For MacMillan, the piece is about the mercy and humanity denied to Gowdie in the last days of her life and the requiem that she never had.
Usher Hall, 473 2000, 16 Aug, 8pm, £10–£39.