Out of the Silence: Orchestral Music by John McLeod. CD Review: The Scotsman.
by Ken Walton
Now in his 80s, a remarkably sprightly John McLeod has been writing music of immense character and craftsmanship of late. The most recent piece on this disc dedicated entirely to the Edinburgh-based composer is the title track, Out of the Silence, which in turn celebrates the macho, maverick style of Carl Nielsen.
Laced with quotes from the Danish composer, it is a feverish outpouring of hungry ideas, all knitted together in a framework that speaks with spontaneous logic. It is performed here by the RSNO, not always with the unanimous warmth it deserves, but in a way that allows its energy and colour to explode naturally into life.
Holly Mathieson conducts and McLeod himself conducts the remaining works, which include the Bartók-inspired Percussion Concerto, the dramatically engaging The Shostakovich Connection, and the whimsical Hebridean Dances, where gorgeous lyrical moments meet McLeod’s tangible zest for life.