McLeod – Nordic Fire

September 3, 2018 in by mwhiteside

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A new work by award-winning Scottish composer John McLeod is always a special event and this newly commissioned Viola Concerto Nordic Fire is surely no exception. Composed especially for the outstanding viola player Jane Atkins, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and its Conductor Emeritus Joseph Swensen, it takes as its starting point the amazing colour and energy of the aurora borealis – that natural electrical phenomenon characterized by the appearance of streamers of reddish or greenish light in the sky, especially near the northern magnetic pole.

But its main characteristics are energy and colour – two elements of musical composition that have a great fascination for McLeod who also believes that the viola represents the energetic centre of the string quartet, the string orchestra and indeed the full orchestra – rather like the Chinese concept of Qi or Chi being the life force in the centre of the human body.