NESMS, North East of Scotland Music School, is a charity that provides musical tuition up to Conservatoire standard by importing distinguished teachers to Aberdeen on a regular basis.The connections between Haddo House and the School are long-standing.
Almost fifty years ago, June, Marchioness of Aberdeen and Temair, and Dorothy Hately, had become aware of a lack of teaching provision at the highest level for the many extremely talented young musicians that Aberdeen was producing in its schools. June had been a student at the prestigious Royal College of Music and had studied with many of the leading international musicians of the day. Dorothy was a singer and had until recently been secretary in the Department of Music at the University of Aberdeen. They got together and invited a group of internationally prestigious musicians – mostly from London – to come to Aberdeen on a monthly basis to teach the outstanding young musicians.
Over the last four decades what quickly became NESMS has become firmly established as a power-house, encouraging the best of our young musicians in Aberdeen, several of whom have gone on to enter the music profession. The presence of June was a vital spark in the whole founding and early development of the School. It is wonderful that this connection between Haddo House and NESMS still continues, and we are very glad to recognise this strong and warm link today.
Adagio for Clarinet and Piano H.J.Bärmann (1784-1847)
This piece was originally part of a Quintet for Clarinet and String Quartet but is now more often heard in this version for piano. Bärmann is today a distant figure whose main claim to fame was the clarinettist for whom Weber wrote his Concertos. This piece really needs no introduction but it gives a very expressive vehicle for this most expressive of the woodwind family of instruments.
Drei Fantasiestücke, for Clarinet and Piano Op.73 R.Schumann (1810-56)
Robert Schumann was highly sensitive to literature, and above all for Lieder composition. It is his fastidious choice of texts and their reflection in telling musical piano gestures that marks his particular genius. He set poems by Heine, Goethe, and also Byron. The work to be heard tonight written in 1849, though not using any texts, is none the less highly romantic in its moods. This was at a time when Schumann was composing music for Manfred – Byron’s poem. Although versions of the instrument we know as the clarinet were old established, it was not until the nineteenth century that the instrument really fulfilled its warm and expressive potential. The musical dialogue of these three pieces, originally conceived for the clarinet, but later adapted for the viola, is perfectly balanced between the two instruments. The rather dreamy first movement of languorous long phrases, is contrasted with the second, quicker movement of much shorter gestures. The dramatic and explosive third movement explores to the full Schumann’s creative individuality and his poetic, highly Byronic soul.