Hyperion Records

Ouvertüre 'Aus dem schottischen Hochlande', Op 4
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

Track-specific metadata
Details for CDA67387 track 6
Recording date
5 September 2003
Recording venue
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Jonathan Stokes
Hyperion usage
  1. Lamond: Symphony in A major (CDA67387)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: March 2004
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