Sunday, 11 May 2014
Diesen Kuß der ganzen Welt*!
On Friday, as Nigel Farage came to Edinburgh to boost his party’s candidature for a Scottish Euro seat, and to tell us how we’d be better off outwith the European Union, in Glasgow a very different approach to things European was being promulgated by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and its Chorus.
In an inspired piece of programming, the SCO’s season finale was Beethoven's 9 Symphony (the Choral). Its theme of universal brotherhood, joy and fellowship sent out a much more positive message than the isolationism preached by Farage and many other narrow separatists. (*The title of this piece is part of Schiller's Ode to Joy, the poem that provides the lyrics for the Symphony. It translates as 'This kiss to the whole world'.)
The internationalism was further enhanced by the announcement prior to the performance that French conductor Emmanuel Krivine has been appointed the SCO’s Principal Guest Conductor. He celebrated by leading the Orchestra and Chorus through a lively and animated performance – both his feet leaving the podium on at least one occasion!
The fact that two weeks prior to the Euro election the SCO chose the European anthem to play was not lost on people in Glasgow – the fact that it was delivered by a French Conductor, and Scottish orchestra and German soloists was also a positive note!
The large audience gave a massively enthusiastic reception to what was an excellent interpretation of a classic piece. I know which city I preferred to be in last Friday!