Review of 7th Meeting – 11 May, 2013

The earlier start of 1pm, to avoid the hoards of the Great British Public, seemed a bit over-protective, as only one person came through the doors after 2pm. Still, one never knows how many people will visit, so – if we can – it might be worthwhile making 1pm the regular time.

First up was Bill Samson, who played a 6c lute he made in the early 1970s, complete with fluorocarbon fishing line strings, and it sounded beautiful. He played Dowland’s Fortune My Foe, which was greatly appreciated – its original use as a gallows song reminding present players that they were up next… [photos by Stuart Goldie – click on image for larger version]

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Stuart Mcluckie played Judenkunig’s version of the famous Calata al la Spagnola, and took it at quite a lick, which then got faster. The performer did say afterwards that that was not his intention! But, actually, he pretty much got it. Good performance, Stuart.

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Philip Lord performed on his stupendously beautiful Paul Thomson 7c lute – possibly the best 7c I’ve ever had the fortune to play, alas all too briefly. Philip played The Lady Rich’s Galliard by Dowland, with some really beautiful moments.

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Then we had another visitor from foreign climes – my old cyber friend from Finland, Timo Peedu, who was visting Scotland with his wife, to see their daughter who is studying at Aberdeen University. Timo played a borrowed baroque guitar, and gave a wonderful performance of some Swedish and Norwegian 5c guitar music. What a fine player Timo is! Really deft playing of some interesting repertoire. Thanks, Timo. I hope it’s not the last time you play for us.

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At a previous meeting I asked if performers could tell us more about the music they were playing, or the instrument. Well, Chris Jupp gave us a very interesting illustrative prelude to the Prelude by Dowland, from the Margaret Board lute book. Chris’s prelude last much longer than Dowland’s, but it was full of interesting titbits about technique and musical choices – whether to arpeggiate or not at cadences, decoration, rubato, etc. Very interesting, Chris, and nicely played. For this performance, Chris played the 8c by Jonathan Santa Maria Bouquet, which sounded very nice in Chris’s hands.

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Next up was the rare sighting of two 8-string Viennese classical guitars, both made after Stauffer by the Canadian luthier, Scot Tremblay. Rob MacKillop and Malcolm Cooper played four waltzes from Giuliani’s Opus 116, The Adventures Of Love. This was the first time Malcolm has played to the Society, and he acquitted himself really well. Looking forward to more from Malcolm!

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Rob MacKillop improvised a prelude to a Caprice in Cm by Legnani. Paganini’s duet partner is often seen as a mere show off, but every now and then he writes a beautiful piece, worthy of repeated listening.

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Rob then performed three short pieces on an Edward Light harp-lute. The instrument gives a soft, delicate and quite charming sound.

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Gordon Ferries brought the performances to an end with the famous Prelude and Chaconne by Corbetta. Gordon recently changed from nail to nail-less playing. He seems to have adapted to the new technique very quickly, giving an assured performance. Excellent playing, as ever, from Gordon. [This image by Bill Samson]


When the playing stopped, the socialising began. Bill Samson put out a display of his lutherie tools,

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and a small but animated huddle gathered around that table, while elsewhere playing of various instruments could be heard.

A good meeting, with about an hour of performances followed by two hours of socialising, with opportunities to try out the instruments brought by members. Looking forward to the next one.

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The following images by Rob MacKillop:

Stu2 Stu1 Luthiers4 Gordon2 Gordon1 Chris3

Timo1 Timo2 Timo3

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