The SCO’s superb Principal Horn, Alec Frank-Gemmill, is in the spotlight for James MacMillan’s new arrangement of his thrillingly theatrical Horn Quintet. MacMillan grew up playing in brass ensembles and he cherishes the horn of fanfares and hunting calls as much as the soft-voiced instrument of matchless lyrical beauty. Either side of the premiere we have youthful tours-de-force by two of the great ‘Bs’ of history. Conductor Andrew Manze is rightly acclaimed as an outstanding interpreter of both Britten and Beethoven.
The inspiration for the concert image?
One Viennese critic for the Zeitung fuer die elegante Welt (Newspaper for the Elegant World) famously wrote of Beethoven's Second Symphony that it was "a hideously writhing, wounded dragon that refuses to die, but writhing in its last agonies and, in the fourth movement, bleeding to death."
This concert forms part of a month-long celebration of recent works by Sir James MacMillan in partnership with the BBC SSO, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Hebrides Ensemble and Glasgow Life.
Andrew Manze has rapidly emerged as one of the most stimulating and inspirational conductors ofhis generation. His extensive and scholarly knowledge of the repertoire together with his rare skillas a communicator and his boundless energy mark him out.
Described by the Financial Times as a ‘phenomenon with a tone of golden purity, wraparound warmth and ecstatic afterglow’, Alec Frank-Gemmill has been Principal Horn of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since 2009. He is also a regular guest of the London Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam.