Hallaig - A Celebration of Sorley MacLean
City Halls, Sun 18 Jan
A gathering of Gaelic musical talent will celebrate the work of Sorley MacLean (Somhairle MacGill-Eain) in this concert, which will feature both vocal settings of the poet’s work and instrumental pieces inspired by it. The show takes its title from his great long poem Hallaig, and that is also the title of a new piece commissioned for the occasion from Inverness-born composer Stuart MacRae.
The Skye-based poet, who died in 1996, was a key figure in the development of modern Gaelic poetry. The concert is a commission by the Sorley MacLean Trust, in pursuit of their aim not only to celebrate MacLean’s poetry, but also to share his work and his artistic legacy with a wider audience.
Some of the music that will figure here had an initial airing during the Highland 2007 celebrations, but MacRae’s commission is a major new addition. One of the leading lights of contemporary composition, he is know for a strong and boldly expressive style that - like MacLean’s poetry - has often been inspired by the Scottish landscape.
The song settings and instrumental pieces will be performed by an array of leading musicians, including singers James Graham, Jenna Cumming, Alasdair Whyte and Kirsteen MacDonald, and a stellar band featuring clarsach player Mary Ann Kennedy, fiddler Gordon Gunn, piper Dougie Pincock, accordionist Brian McAlpine and cellist Christine Hanson.