Composer and conductor Max Bruch (1838-1920): “A Christian and yet he wrote a Jewish piece, Kol Nidrei; he wrote a Roman Catholic hymn, Ave Maria, and yet he was a Protestant; and he wrote a piece about Scotland, his Scottish Fantasy, and yet he barely knew the country – although he did come here once, after he wrote the fantasy.” – The Right Notes.org
Our #AlumniMonday series of stories and performances about our distinguished alums today celebrates St. Andrew’s Day – the national holiday of Scotland, with a selection from one of the most effective evocations of the Scottish landscape ever set to music: Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy.
Bruch once said “The violin can sing a melody better than a piano, and melody is the soul of music.” And nowhere is that more evident in the melodies packed into the Scottish Fantasy, each movement of which is based on different Scots folksongs. “We all have a Johnnie in our lives,” notes violinist Julia Schilz, introducing the poetic third movement of work in a Stars of Tomorrow concert performance during the Heifetz Institute Festival of Concerts in 2018. The third movement is based on the Scottish melody I’m a’doun for lack o’Johnnie.
St Andrew’s Cross or the Saltire, the national flag of Scotland. November 30th is Saint Andrew’s Day, also known as Andermas, Scotland’s national holiday.