north east scotland's festival of new music

press reviews

Gig review:
Madelaine Mitchell and Nigel Clayton

Written by Neil Jones, The Scotsman

Reproduced by kind permission of the author

article | The Scotsman


With works by Frank Bridge, Michael Nyman, James MacMillan and Nigel Osborne encompassing a range of styles and moods, violinist Madeleine Mitchell and pianist Nigel Clayton surely pleased most of the people most of the time in this lunchtime concert, part of the North-east's ongoing new music festival, Sound.

The romantic nature of Bridge's Mélodie was brought to life by the duo's perfectly matched playing. Nyman's Full Fathom Five was, by contrast, full of surprises, the mood and tempo changing dramatically from one section to the next.

In MacMillan's Kiss on Wood the players created a lovely ambience of serenity, Clayton's piano notes falling away to silence whilst in Mitchell's violin playing the devil was in the detail with the occasional, tiniest hint of traditional Scottish music superbly rendered.

The next piece, for violin only, was Osborne's Taw Raw. A taw-raw is the fiddle of the Shan people of Burma and the piece evokes the sounds of the landscape of that country. It demands several non-standard techniques and demonstrated Mitchell's total technical command of her instrument.

Clayton joined her on stage for MacMillan's A Different World. Starting with a huge chord it progresses through a more conventional, lyrical section before crashing back to a booming piano finale that Clayton clearly enjoyed playing. Bridge's Morceau Caractéristique and, as an encore, Blake's Jazz Waltz rounded off this superb concert.

This article has been reproduced by kind permission of the author.

reviewed event
  Date Day Time Location Event Details
28Thu12.45 pmAberdeenMadeleine Mitchell, violin and Nigel Clayton, piano