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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67387
Recording details: September 2003
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Jonathan Stokes
Release date: March 2004
Total duration: 9 minutes 17 seconds

'A thoroughly likeable issue, well worth exploring' (Gramophone)

'Glasgow gave Europe two of its leading musical talents of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Thanks to yet another adventurous project from Hyperion, their legacy is guaranteed' (The Scotsman)

'Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra do offer vivid accounts that are inspired, insightful, and invigorating and that succeed in capturing the music's strengths. The brass are potent, the strings sumptuous, the winds rich in tone, and the perspective quite realistic. All are a credit to Hyperion's now-legendary engineering … this is an important release and one that makes opening your wallet worthwhile' (Fanfare, USA)

'The world of classical music should be welcoming to these freshly liberated works long condemned to dusty shelves and unmerited oblivion. Well done to Hyperion and all concerned in the project' (MusicWeb International)

Ouvertüre 'Aus dem schottischen Hochlande', Op 4

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Lamond’s Ouvertüre Aus Dem Schottischen Hochlande, Opus 4 was originally titled ‘Quentin Durward: Charakterbild in Form einer Ouvertüre’. In Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Quentin Durward, the hero of the title is a young Scot who becomes a member of the French King Louis XI’s Scottish bodyguards. The loyalty and courage of his conduct eventually lead to his winning the hand of a Burgundian heiress, despite the enmity between King Louis and the Burgundians. It is a story of love, intrigue, bravery and chivalry which might well have served as a model for Dumas; and Lamond’s music might have served that author equally well, were it not so clearly imprinted with the character of Scotland. On his first meeting with Brahms, Lamond found himself explaining the etymological significance of the Gaelic name Aran – a mountainous island in the Clyde estuary. Clearly the landscape of his homeland was often in his mind. Lamond never lost his Glasgow accent.

The fresh lyricism of the opening theme, largely pentatonic and set against a drone bass, is the most obvious evidence of its Scottishness, and it is this theme from which nearly all the subsequent material is derived. Not even a change of key from F to A major, and time signature from 6/8 to 2/4, can disguise the close relationship between it and the second subject.

But the warmth of this lyricism is soon interrupted by an element of adventurous mischief which in turn seems to generate more serious consequences. A climax drawn from the opening theme subsides into doubts, ending with a solo for bass clarinet which leads to the recapitulation. As the piece nears its end, the heraldic versions of the main theme become more prominent and, despite a brief reminder of mischief, build powerfully on a grinding ostinato to the final climax. Just as one thinks that all is going to end in splendour, the woodwind reclaim the beautiful flowing lyricism of the main Scottish theme, as Lamond returns in spirit to the rivers and glens of Scotland whence the subject of his portrait came.

from notes by John Purser © 2004

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