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Sally Garden's Residency theme

“discovering music in scotland” in Scotland's “city of discovery
At her March 2004 Residency Inaugural Recital, Mondschein auf Loch Lomond - music inspired by the northern muse! (Caird Hall Stage, Dundee), Sally Garden introduced her chosen Residency theme of 'discovery'...

“When Andrew John Wighton (1804-1866), merchant and music collector caused his valuable collection of early printed and manuscript music to be gifted to Dundee Free Library in 1869, he could have made no greater statement about the historical strength and confidence of Scottish musical life. Containing over 1000 items of vocal and instrumental music from the late C17 to early C19, and covering a wide range of genres, the Wighton collection bears particular testimony to the vibrant cosmopolitanism of Enlightenment Scotland.



But Wighton and his antiquarian circle were less interested in the vitality of Scotland's music than in the narrow question of its 'Scottishness'. Searching essentially for a Scottish 'volksgeist' or particular national character, they sought a separatist definition of Scottish music based on the concepts of authenticity and linguistic purity (is an air English or Scottish or Irish, what does its musical syntax and associated text tell us about its likely origins). Aware of the flux of Scotland's musical life but determined to pin down its historical sources, theirs was a combative scholarship of claim and counter-claim - a gentlemanly programme of work tied to a preoccupation with political identity in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars.

But what matters from our perspective in the C21 is not Scottish music as an abstract idea, but Scotland's musical life as a living, evolving reality. From pre-Reformation times to the present, Scotland has enjoyed an often surprising degree of cultural exchange with her neighbours. Hence the theme I have chosen for the Residency 'discovering music in Scotland' is one of celebration of a confident diversity”.



An invitation to 'discover'...

At her Wighton Residency Inaugural Recital, Sally Garden invited us to begin this 'discovery' with a journey into the lost landscape of Scottish art song. In a programme of music inspired by the northern muse - the landscape of Scotland and her northern neighbours - the twilight world of German Romanticism was our guiding star. Taking the Wighton Collection as starting point, she invited us to wander into the realm of 'Naturbeseelung' where landscape and human spirit meld together in metaphysical union - where nature herself becomes sentient! It was a journey which began with Aberdeen composer John Ross, with Carl Maria von Weber, the father of German Romanticism, and with the silver shadows of 'Mondschein auf Loch Lomond' - 'moonlight on Loch Lomond'.



© Sally LK Garden 2004













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