Lammermuir Festival > News > Masterpieces known and unknown…

Masterpieces known and unknown... - Lammermuir Festival

It’s quite a few years since the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra started coming to Haddington for an annual concert at St Mary’s in the Lamp of Lothian’s summer concert series. They’ve given some memorable performances there – everything from Beethoven to Bruckner. They even once recorded a CD of a Bruckner symphony in the church (which has just the right acoustic for it – check out Hyperion’s Bruckner 3rd recording with the BBC SSO). At the Lammermuir Festival we’re keen to continue that association with the orchestra and this year’s concert is, I think, an ideal mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar. The well-known pieces – Rossini’s ‘William Tell’ and Dvorak’s ‘New World Symphony’ could hardly be more popular – were chosen to reflect Gian Carlo Menotti’s Italian-American heritage. Between them Menotti’s lovely, instantly appealing Violin Concerto is the less well-known item, though it’s a prime example of the sort of piece that should be played far more often. Maybe his centenary this year will help to raise its profile. We’re delighted that Jennifer Koh, who studied the concerto with the composer and has made a marvellous Chandos recording of it, is coming to Haddington to play it for us on Thursday, September 22.

Jennifer’s recording isn’t on youtube, but here’s the lovely slow movement of the concerto played by another great Italian-American musician, Ruggiero Ricci:

Hugh Macdonald – Director, Lammermuir Festival