Conflict and Resolution
City Halls, Glasgow, Sat 17 Jan
The life of Scottish architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh will be celebrated in unusual fashion in this concert featuring a specially commissioned new work for musicians from Scotland and Catalonia, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. The original idea came from Scottish filmmaker Robin Crichton, but Celtic Connections turned to composer Dave Heath to realise it in music.
Although English, Heath lived for several years in Edinburgh, and has something of a track record in this kind of project. An eclectic musician with a passionate interest in jazz and folk, he composed a violin concerto for Clio Gould and the Scottish Ensemble called The Celtic in 1990, and orchestrated Phil Cunningham’s Highlands and Islands Suite at this festival in 1997.
The new work will feature soloists from both classical and folk traditions in Catalonia and Scotland. Heath describes the musical structure – after an orchestral overture that gives a taste of subsequent themes – as opening ‘in opposition, a clash of cultures or a musical war’ that reflects the distinct musical traditions of Catalonia and Scotland, which develops firstly in competition and then are interwoven in a triumphal coming together and resolution.
The great Catalonian cellist Pablo Casals is another major influence on the music, and all of these strands will come together in the piece.