• Younger Hall (map)
  • North Street
  • St. Andrew's

Mahler, arr. Britten: What the Wild Flowers Tell Me
Suckling: Candlebird
Brahms: Serenade No. 1

Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Mark Stone (baritone), Nicholas Collon (conductor)

my 'welcome' from the programme booklet:

By way of a welcome, please indulge me in a small piece of storytelling, on how Candlebird began:

It was Don Paterson’s aphorisms that first seized me, bought on a whim on a wet afternoon in Glasgow over a decade ago. Eight years later, struggling to find warmth on board The Train That Heating Forgot, with Rain in my hands and snow shining New Year’s Day sun from the slopes of the Hope Valley, the wild flowers told me to write a song.

I’d bought Don’s collection some weeks before, being by this stage such a pathetic fanboy that I’d take anything with his name on the cover, but hadn’t really known what to make of it, until on this morning I read Sky Song, in which ‘The flower turned to me and said: she’s beautiful’ – and she was, and I heard it sung in my head, and this never happens to me, composing is usually such an effort, but by the time the train pulled into Manchester, the whole song was there. So I thought it might be worth setting some more.

I did, and though my initial plans for a Mahlerian symphonic-song-cycle (seriously: big instrumental movements, high drama, the works) thankfully became considerably more modest in the end, this collection of short lyric pieces means a lot to me. So when I was asked to become an Associate Artist with the SCO – and the experience of writing for this wonderful orchestra meant that of course I would accept without question – I did have one request: please play Candlebird. Because of all my music, this is the piece I most wanted to bring home.

The natural world breathes through tonight’s entire programme, but let us leave February’s cold at the door: may Mahler’s summer meadow warm you, may Brahms serenade you through hidden gardens, and may a flicker from Don Paterson’s candlebird light your way home.