On Wednesday night the inhabitants of St Andrews enjoyed the privilege to see the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) in concert in Younger Hall. The orchestra makes a stop in St Andrews on their travels around Scotland a few times every term.
The first thing of notice during the concert was the lack of a conductor. This time around, the lead performers played a double role as both musicians and conductors. The evening started on a light note with ‘Schubert’s Overture in D major’ ‘In the Italian Style’, an outcome of the Rossini frenzy which swept Vienna in 1816. The lightness of the music reminded the audience of the imminent arrival of spring. Alexander Janiczek, the SCO’s Associate Artist and violinist, conducted the performance as well as playing the lead violin.
Following Schubert was Mozart’s famous ‘Piano Concerto No 23 in A Major’, a product of his greatest years during the time in which he composed The Marriage of Figaro. Of the three movements, Adagio seemed to be the most profoundly moving. The incredible pianist Piotr Anderszewski directed from the keyboard as well as giving a lively performance at the piano adding vocals from time to time.
After an interval, Beethoven’s ‘Grosse Fuge’ commenced, based on a four-note motif and intended to praise the fugue compositional technique. The intense performance was perhaps best described by the fact that Alexander Janiczek’s bow had lost quite a bit of its hair by the end.
The best was saved for last as Piotr Anderszewski returned to perform and conduct Mozart’s ‘Piano Concerto No 25 in C major’, set to be anticipating Beethoven, which reached its climax in the end with a repition of a phrase. This time around Anderszewski and the chamber orchestra put all their energy into this vibrant performance which concluded the evening’s repertoire.
We are so culturally rich in our quaint town of St Andrews and the classical music here is no exception. Tonight’s event was wonderful and it is really a shame that it was mostly attended by town rather than gown. The SCO does offer students a very attractive deal with an evening of classical music for 5 pounds the seat. If you’re a music lover, the next time the SCO makes a stop in St Andrews be sure to attend, it is well worth it and since it’s been scientifically proven that classical music stimulates the brain you don’t have to feel bad about taking a little study break.