St Mary's Music School summer concert, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh Summer music does not have to mean mostly Mozart. Here we had Stravinsky, Copland, MacMillan, Mendelssohn, even a dash of Jonathan Dove, resourcefully presented by the orchestras and singers of St Mary's Music School in Edinburgh.
Even Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream was sacrificed for the currently more suitable weather of The Hebrides, though a programme ending with Stravinsky's Pulcinella was not wholly sunless. Both these works were conducted by Garry Walker, one of the school's most distinguished former pupils, and, though some of the fine detail slipped through his grasp, the performances by no means lacked the things they needed. If allowances had to be made for passing fluffs, there were delicious moments, deft phrases, nice glints of woodwind tone and real responsiveness to Stravinskian wit and verve.
But it was in the bright, clear timbres of MacMillan's Heyoka Te Deum, with its solo flute, bells, piano and high voices, that the performers captured a special spell, just as they also did in the haunting nightscape of Copland's Quiet City and the raciness of Dove's Moonlight Revels.
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The presence of John Wallace, the school's president, as solo trumpeter was here clearly an asset, but so were the student soloists (Gabriella Eeles on cor anglais, Grant Irvine on alto sax) who joined him in the Copland and the revolving minimalism of Dove's take on A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Praise, too, for the strings, directed by Claire Docherty, who provided such consistently deft support.
From yesterday's later editions