Scottish Chamber Orchestra



A FULL house for this concert in the final leg of the SCO's annual Highland Tour programme was rewarded with an outstanding evening of music, crowned by a wonderful performance by the young Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang in Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez.

There is no question that she is a star in the making. She employed amplification on the guitar in this large venue, a tactic which also allowed a degree more freedom for the finely judged orchestral accompaniments, especially in the forte sections.

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Her reading of the solo role was beautifully shaped and highly expressive capturing the emotional impact and quintessentially Spanish idioms of the music to perfection. She responded to the acclaim with an encore of another canonical Spanish piece, Tarraga's Recuerdos de la Alhambra.

If the guitarist is a name to watch, much the same could be said for young English conductor Alexander Shelley. On the basis of his work here, he seems well equipped to go far, and the orchestra responded with immaculate playing in each of the diverse works on the programme.

The musical debate with Bach implicit in Stravinsky's Dumbarton Oaks was beautifully delineated, Faur's elegant Pavane possessed the necessary simple beauty of expression, and Haydn's Symphony No 99 was simply excellent. A deserved encore brought a dazzling account of the demanding Scherzo from Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream.