We are a club which is open to anyone who enjoys listening to music. The music can be of any genre – over the years we have encompassed classical; musicals; folk; jazz; choral; opera and at one point African dance music.
Contact: Janice McCotter, President
The Music Appreciation Club changed its format for 2022/23 and we met at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire in Renfrew Street, Glasgow, on the last Friday of each month for lunch and then attended the ‘Fridays at One’ series of concerts.
Our first Conservatoire concert was a series of pieces played by the internationally renowned Russian pianist and teacher, BORIS BERMAN. He is currently head of the Piano Department at the Yale School of Music. All of our members enjoyed his wonderful playing and took pleasure at being at a live performance in an intimate setting, especially after several years of MAC Zoom meetings.
The second performance we attended displayed a completely different style and approach to piano playing. Rolf Hind is a pianist and composer who is highly regarded in musical circles, however he is described as an avant-garde performer who likes to push musical boundaries and many of his compositions are atonal. Most of our members found his performance difficult to engage with, although everyone appreciated being exposed to something ‘different’.
Our third concert was great fun. This was a Christmas concert put on by the students at the Conservatoire and it consisted of nine different sets. There was lots of singing, dancing, playing and general merriment and the audience, including us, showed their appreciation of the students’ efforts. Several of our members commented on the high standards of performance on display.
There was no ‘Friday at One’ concert at the end of January so we attended our fourth and fifth concerts at the beginning and the end of February. The fourth one was with Shenyang, the Bass-baritone, accompanied by Simon Lepper on piano. This was Chinese (Tang) poetry set to music with a printed translation for the audience. Our members were pleasantly surprised that something that seemed a little obscure could be so enjoyable and hypnotic. Most of us had not been exposed to this particular combination before.
For our fifth concert we had a wind quintet from the Chineke Foundation. They played a variety of pieces from around the globe, including Indian ragas and traditional Latin American rhythms. The members appreciated the players’ impeccable timing and the refreshing experience of hearing wind instruments as opposed to piano.
The final concert in our session was awe-inspiring, by general agreement of our members. It consisted of performances of Rachmaninov and Ravel by members of the Conservatoire faculty, that is the teachers themselves. Each piece ( two Rhapsodys and one Suite) was for two pianos and all agreed the playing was powerful, dramatic and generally superb.