Scottish Overtures

Author: 
Ivan March

Scottish Overtures

  • (The) Hebrides, 'Fingal's Cave'
  • Waverley
  • Tam O'Shanter
  • Macbeth, Ballet Music
  • (The) Land of the mountain and the flood

In discussing the original issue TH aptly commented that LPs of this kind do not usually make good continuous listening, but found this an exception to the rule, because of the variety and different styles of the music. On CD, of course, one has the best of both worlds, because it is so easy to select individual tracks. Although the opening Mendelssohn Hebrides Overture is beguilingly Romantic—a most attractive performance—I found myself returning to the superbly recorded Tam O'Shanter with its whisky-sodden climax, complete with orchestral bagpipes—an orchestral tour de force—and the engaging MacCunn piece, with its delectably unforgettable lyrical theme and unashamed sense of melodrama. Gibson, understandably, gives a most affectionate account of it, and if—as TH suggested—his Berlioz pacing is too fast, it is certainly exhilarating. On CD the sound is even more vivid than on LP and both Tam O'Shanter and the Land of the Mountain and the Flood are in the demonstrate bracket.'

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