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Review: West End Festival

Mr McFall's Chamber

Mr McFall's Chamber

Cottiers, Glasgow

Joshua Campbell

Glasgow is probably one of the last places you'd expect to hear Polish-Tango. That changed when Mr McFall's Chamber played at the heart of West End Glasgow in the Cottier's Theatre.

The ensemble played a variety of tango music from Poland dating from the time of the First World War to the second, spanning both popular and classical music.

They welcomed the audience with a beautiful opening piece that showed real passion for their music and was returned by an all-round applause.

The ensemble's later pieces were very calm and booming with emotion and I was soon caught in a trance, even though I did feel they were a bit repetitive.

The pieces were powerful in their own right but always seemed to have a shadow of sadness about them, hence the programme name, Dancing Under The Shadows.

My favourite piece by far was definitely the third (Grayna Bacewicz) which took me on a rollercoaster of mysterious yet remarkable sections into jumpy and intense ones which had me holding my breath. Each part would end with an eerie silence that had my mouth open in awe awaiting the next part, an experience which I have never encountered before.

The performers themselves were a sight to see, with Cyril Garac (violin 1) and Brian Schiele (viola) definitely showing the most emotion through facial expressions.

On the other hand, other members looked as though they were perhaps concentrating too hard. An overall great experience and a well-deserved four stars.

Joshua Campbell is a pupil at Hillhead High School and took part in Cottier Chamber Project Young Critics workshop with The Herald's Kate Molleson.

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