Membra Jesu Nostri, St Vincent’s Chapel, Review David Charles Sat, 17 Aug '19 2.42pm

Part of the programme for St Vincent’s week long Sacred Arts Festival, this was a fascinating recital of a rarely performed piece.

Seven succinct cantatas compose a meditative reflection on the crucified Christ, with the text taken from the mediaeval hymn ‘Salve Mundi Salutare’.  Each cantata is inspired by a biblical text reworked into a sung devotion, with each section addressed to one of the Limbs of Christ, the title of this work.

Handel Revenged, St Cecilia’s Hall, Review David Charles Fri, 16 Aug '19 7.35pm

There are many musical recitals taking place at the Fringe, but this one immediately struck you as being a bit different. 

Not only were we able to hear the beautiful 1755 Kirkman double-manual harpsichord in Scotland’s oldest purpose-built concert hall; but the programme itself had an eye-catching, maybe naughty title. Handel is well-known for borrowing material from other composers for inclusion in his own works; here we heard one of them, George Muffat, doing the same to Handel, with his 1736 ‘improved’ version of Handel’s Suite No. 4 in E minor.

Scottish Contemporary Music, St Andrew & St George’s West, Review David Charles Thu, 15 Aug '19 4.31pm

Although not formally part of the Fringe programme, this recital fell within the festival programme of events hosted at the beautiful Georgian church of St Andrew and St George.

Minstrels and Monarchs, artSpace@StMark’s, Review

An interesting, stimulating and varied programme, with a wide selection of music from the Renaissance period.

The director spoke knowledgably and passionately about the various instruments, and the commentary interspersed between the musical items was amusing and engaging. Though the text (and translation, where appropriate) of the songs was helpfully provided, it was clear that it was the instruments themselves that were the main source of fascination for the audience, and that it was these they came to see.

Rossini – Petite Messe, St Vincent’s Chapel, Review

The old saying that Rossini’s Petitie Messe is neither small nor solemn isn’t quite true.

As the conductor helpfully explained in an engaging and informative introduction, Rossini approached issues of length and scale in this particular work from a somewhat comical perspective. And of course, ‘solemn’ means something different liturgically than it does musically.