With the recent spell of good weather and the approach of the school summer break, thoughts are turning to holidays. Do we stay at home or do we go abroad? Tayside Symphony Orchestra, in their concert in Reid Hall, Forfar, on Saturday evening led us on a break abroad - Vacation - or a stay at home holiday - Staycation.
The first half of this lively concert portrayed images from a foreign Vacation, opening with Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. Other European countries in the tour included Austria - The Gold and Silver Waltz by Lehar and Spain - Espana by Chabrier, where the strings had the rare opportunity to play with the wood of their bows. We were then transported to Scandinavia for the atmospheric and haunting Sigurd Jorsaffar Suite by Grieg.
The second half of the programme portrayed images from a stay-at-home holiday: Staycation. England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland were all represented in a wide ranging and enjoyable choice of music which opened with Delius' On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring and Summer Night on the River where the solo cello created an ambience of peace and tranquillity which is found on a river on a summer's evening. Wales was represented in a stirring Welsh Rhapsody by Edward German which included four Welsh pieces, culminating in the rousing "Men of Harlech." The programme also included light-hearted compilations of well-known tunes, which were clearly enjoyed by the audience, with the Irish Suite (Part 1) by Leroy Anderson and finally A Scottish Fantasy by Ronald Binge which evoked the sentimental moods of Scotland - the mist shrouding the lochs and glens, the skirl of the bagpipes and the swirl of the kilt.
As an encore, the orchestra was persuaded, by continuous applause, to play Cumberland Square by Ernest Tomlinson.
This was a great night out, another feather in the cap of the TSO and we look forward to the next concert in September, which will be a programme of Russian music to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.