Herald review of Friday’s Cottier Chamber concert

7th June 2015 | Concerts, Reviews | 0 comments

Today’s Herald carries a review, by senior critic Michael Tumelty, of Friday’s Cottier Chamber Project opening night. As the review is only accessible online to subscribers, I’ll post it here.

Susan Tomes/Daniel’s Beard, Cottier’s Theatre, Glasgow

‘THERE was a marvellous sense on Friday night of the Cottier Chamber Project setting out its stall and throwing open its doors, with a roll call of its wares on display for opening night: musical market traders to Glasgow’s west end for the next three weeks, with the launch night offering three very different options, back to back with breaks in between, and running at 6.30, 8.30 and from 10.30 to beyond midnight with off-the-wall musical buccaneers, Mr McFall’s Chamber, taking the music towards the wee sma’ hours and into tango territory.

Honours for opening the night, and the festival, fell to the woodwinds of host ensemble Daniel’s Beard which, with a warmth that is the closest we’ve come to the real article on many of these allegedly “summer” days, bathed Cottier’s in the lyrical glow of Samuel Barber’s beautiful Summer Music, from which point the winds were joined for the rest of the concert by one of the UK’s most distinguished chamber pianists, Susan Tomes, now returned to her native Scotland, and making the first of numerous appearances in different strands of the festival.

Instantly, Tomes stamped (gently) her characteristic refinement, polish and understatement onto her music – she forces nothing, puts nothing under pressure – with her pristine pianism effortlessly teasing out the elliptical contours, rhythms and character from Judith Weir’s wonderful Airs from Another Planet, four traditional Scottish tunes, magically transported to an imagined Martian environment. And then Tomes at her most supremely elegant, with four of the wind players, rounded off with a lovely, stylish performance of Mozart’s great Quintet for Piano and Winds.’  The Herald, 7.6.15


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