Monday, 18 June 2012

The Gannochy Trust 75th Anniversary Concert

Saturday 16th of June 2012 was the night of the Gannochy Trust 75 anniversary concert. I had the great privilege in being able to go and see it with my family because we were all going to support my brother Murray who is a member of the Perth Youth Orchestra. The concert was a collaboration between the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Perth Youth Orchestra. Personally, I think that the Royal Scottish, - you know what, I'll just abbreviate - RSNO were strategically positioned on stage specifically to block the members of the PYO from view. I could only see a few members of the PYO, and that was from the middle isle, a row from the front. But enough of my conspiracy theories, though I am pretty positive I'm onto something here!

Now, for some people who haven't a clue what the Gannochy Trust is, you'll be happy to know that I've googled it and come up with this information:

I quote from the Gannochy Trust website:

"The Gannochy Trust was founded in 1937 by Arthur Kinmond Bell, known as A K Bell, for charitable and public purposes as a direct result of his family’s successful distilling business. A K Bell’s first project built the Gannochy Housing Estate between 1925 and 1932 to provide rented accommodation for the people of Perth. His Estate included two small farms and the Doo’cot Park cricket grounds and pavilion which he also gave to the Trust."

Also, here's a link to the site

The trust has been supporting both the RSNO and PYO for a number of years now, so this concert was held in the honour of this charitable aid. The concert itself was nothing short of dramatic, with excerpts from the opera Carmen topped off with Sergei Rachmaninov's piano concerto No 2 in C minor Op. 18. Christian Kluxen conducted the orchestras, and the event presented by Jamie MacDougall, who also had a shot at advertising his radio program.

The concert began with the PYO and RSNO playing a piece called Arbos by Arvo Part, a short fanfare that was not only powerful but also somewhat mysterious, played at the high standard that was set for the rest of the evening. The next piece was Carnival Overture Op. 92 by Anotnin Dvorak, lively music for the whole orchestra, played at incredible speeds! I couldn't believe how fast the fingers of the violinists were moving, and I'm surprised my brother managed to keep up! There is a lull in tempo in the piece, which brings about a nice contrast, proving that both orchestras could not only play incredibly accurately at break neck speeds, but also show the sensitive, mellow side to the Overture. These pieces were led by 1st violinist Maya Iwabuchi, as were the rest played that night.

And then there was Carmen! O mon Dieu! O mon Dieu! I never realised opera could be so interesting! Rowan Hellier, a mezzo-soprano, played Carmen. Adrian Dwyer, a tenor played Don Jose and Laurence Meikle, baritone. played Escamillo (I think).

The excerpts were played in the following order:

· Les Toresdors

· Prelude

· Habanera

· Toreador Song

· Intermezzo

· Aragonaise

· Duet

· Danse Bohme

May I just say, Rowan Hellier could have out-feisted the real Carmen herself! The acting from all singers was just captivating, and of course the orchestra played pitch perfectly! I couldn't take my eyes off the stage, in fear of missing a glance between Carmen and Don Jose, or mishearing a note from a song. It was just perfect.

And finally, came the piano concerto, played by Alasdair Beatson, backed by the RSNO, but not the PYO. Beatson's playing was enigmatic, and enthralling to watch. And I also loved the piano he was playing, a beautiful black and gold steinmen and sons grand piano. I want one! Back to the concerto; strangely, while listening, I found myself wanting to fall asleep, not in a bad way though. The concerto, although not all quite and calming, had a very relaxing effect on me. Great music to listen to if you want to get to sleep, none of that dolphin malarkey.

All in all, a spectacular 75th anniversary concert the Gannochy Trust should be proud of! And a big thumbs up to PYO - you guys much as you can rock while playing classical music that is.

Miss B xxxx