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'We are in a strange time and the future is uncertain but, when you think about it, it always has been. What seems clear to me is that humanity and compassion will conquer above all, and that music can be the medium through which we are all able to cope. I have no doubt it is going to become an even more precious commodity.

As a former amateur DJ, I have created this selection of tracks to provide a musical journey, I hope, and all with some SCO relevance. I also hope it brings feelings of peace, calm, resilience, strength and optimism. Just a little note: should you want the purely classical pieces, I suggest you skip to no 4!'
David Nelson, SCO Chorus Member and SCO Partnerships Manager

No 1:Drones
The Drones album was released five years ago and it is now it comes into its own. Imagine the opening lyrics were "Saved by drones". These man-made machines are now telling people to return home for their and others' protection. The SCO relevance: I have a friend and fellow Muse fan in the Chorus!

No 2 & 3: The Wider Sun / Vessel
Jon Hopkins
Jon Hopkins is a musician and producer. These two tracks are a favourite soundtrack of mine for driving through the Highlands, something the Orchestra are unfortunately unlikely to be doing this summer. I was introduced to the music of Jon Hopkins by a friend who worked for the SCO back when the Orchestra and Charles Mackerras collaborated with Alfred Brendel.

No 4: Ešenvalds, Stars
Voces8, Ēriks Ešenvalds
In what should have been an SCO Chorus week this week, I wanted to feature some choral music in this playlist. The Chorus sang this piece at an event once, with members of the Orchestra providing the accompaniment on tuned wine glasses!

No 5:Vivaldi, Concerto for Two Cellos in G minor, RV 531: I. Allegro
Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin
This week we should have been performing Vivaldi's Gloria for you with Maxim. Here is a little flavour of one of his Double Concertos, again a favourite soundtrack of mine for the car, with its driving cello rhythms.

No 6: Rachmaninoff, Vespers: Gladsome Light
Tenebrae, Nigel Short
Another little nod to Maxim, as well as the Chorus' Russian language efforts in our 2018 Christmas concert at Greyfriars! We hope and believe there will be more light emerging from this darkness in the coming months.

No 7: Vaughan Williams, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Wilfried Boettcher
I remember hearing Vaughan Williams for the first time and being utterly blown away, with tears streaming down my face. The Tallis Fantasia remains my favourite piece of orchestral music and I found this SCO recording on Spotify from 1989.

No 8:Vaughan Williams, Serenade to Music
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Roger Norrington
Since hearing it for the first time, it has been a dream to sing Serenade to Music. When I saw it make its way into our 20/21 Season, I was so excited! What I now dream of is that we can actually perform it for you across Scotland next February... fingers crossed!

No 9:Maxwell Davies, An Orkney Wedding, With Sunrise
Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Peter Maxwell Davies
Given the Orchestra's poignant encore the other week with Nicola Benedetti and Lawrence Power (Farewell to Stromness) and the fact that Max could add a touch of humour to music, I thought it would be nice to include something to bring a smile to your face and have your foot tapping!

No 10: MacMillan, Strathclyde Motets: O Radiant Dawn
The Sixteen, Harry Christophers
A highlight for the Chorus last year was performing Seven Last Words from the Cross with Sir James MacMillan conducting. His music has a profound effect on people and the SCO Chorus has adopted this Strathclyde Motet as its theme tune over the last few years!

No 11:The Prologue 1915-1923 (The Natural)
Randy Newman
A massive fan of Billy Joel, I had to feature this orchestral piece of music to which he always enters the stage. For me, it builds a great sense of anticipation of a performance starting, and I have been thinking about that moment when we are able to perform for you all once again. I hope our concert on Long Island, very near to Billy’s hometown, can still take place this October.

No 12:Copland, Appalachian Spring: VII. Doppio movimento (Variations on a Shaker Hymn - Simple Gifts)
Aurora Orchestra, Nicholas Collon
Continuing my US theme, 'Voyage Through America'with Pekka Kuusisto in late April is the programme I have been most looking forward to this Season, so it is only right to have a moment from one of the key pieces in this playlist.

No 13:Saint-Saëns, Symphony No 3 in C minor, Op 78 'Organ': IV. Maestoso. Allegro
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin
A triumphant final movement to Saint-Saëns' "Organ" Symphony (one of my mother's favourite pieces of music), conducted by the incredible Yannick, with whom the Orchestra and Chorus performed Mendelssohn's Elijah back in 2009. I think you might feel you are back in the concert hall at the end... enjoy, and I hope you are all well and keeping safe!

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