Mark O'Keeffe (4 stars)

Knight Errant (Delphian Records)



The Edinburgh-based label is doing its fair share to support contemporary Scottish composition. The Edinburgh Quartet’s fine recent disc of new Scottish string quartets, The Cold Dancer, is followed by this solo outing from the BBC SSO’s principal trumpet, Mark O’Keeffe. His Creative Scotland project with Theatre Cryptic a couple of years ago demonstrated his affinity with contemporary idioms as well as his extended technical prowess on his instrument, and this disc follows suit.

O’Keeffe plays music by five significant composers on the Scottish scene, including a series of six pieces written for him by John Maxwell Geddes, and music by Eddie McGuire, Rory Boyle (a piece which also features Belgian mezzo-soprano Annique Burms), William Sweeney and Peter Maxwell Davies. A short work by Mark-Anthony Turnage completes a fascinating and very varied collection, and if just under 80 minutes of solo trumpet seems a bit much to swallow whole very often, it’s perfect for dipping into individual works.


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