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Review of Easterbrook Hall Concert March 2017

Solway Sinfonia Raises Money for Music in Hospitals

Classical music fans had an unusual treat on Sunday 26th March, when the Solway Sinfonia, conducted by Geoff Keating, regaled us with an evening of Beethoven’s piano concertos. Murray McLachlan returned to Dumfries to play the ‘Emperor’, and for the first time he brought his three pianist children with him, all teenagers.

First up was the youngest, Rose, playing the first movement of No. 2, with rare sensitivity. Then came Matthew, with the fast last movement of No. 1, playing with infectious joie de vivre. To end the first half Callum, the eldest, played the long first movement of No. 3 with great technical mastery and musicality.

After the interval Matthew beautifully performed the remarkable 2nd movement of No. 4, before Murray took over and we enjoyed his wonderful rendering of the ‘Emperor’ complete – this concerto transcends the previous four in virtuosity, length and difficulty.

Before each item Murray and Geoff chatted informally about the music to come, which increased our appreciation and enjoyment tremendously.

Accompanying concertos is never easy, but the orchestra did a wonderful job even with the very complicated ‘Emperor’, and what is more they obviously were enjoying themselves, no doubt helped by the great rapport displayed between the conductor and each soloist.

M.W.