There are three great classical music pieces from two classical music composers that come to mind when the country Scotland is mentioned. Both composers of those three pieces are ironically German composers in the Romantic Era of music.
Felix Mendelssohn [1809 – 1847]
Felix Mendelssohn had two pieces with a Scottish flavor, his Symphony #3 in C-minor, known as the Scottish symphony, and his Hebrides Overture also known as Fingal’s Cave.
Mendelssohn is one of my favorite composers because of the so many beautiful melodies he includes in his pieces. He was 33 years old when he composed his 3rd symphony. It is thought that a painting Mendelssohn saw on a trip he had made to Scotland inspired him to compose this symphony. This is heard in the opening theme of the first movement. Thus, this third symphony is known as the Scottish symphony.
Mendelssohn’s gorgeous Scottish Symphony is scored in the typical four movements: 1. Andante con moto-Allegro un poco agitato, 2. Vivace non troppo, 3. Adagio and 4. Allegro Vivacissimo.
This from Wikipedia, on Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture: “It was inspired by one of Mendelssohn’s trips to the British Isles, specifically an 1829 excursion to the Scottish island of Staffa, with its basalt sea cave known as Fingal’s Cave. It was reported that the composer immediately jotted down the opening theme for his composition after seeing the island.“
Max Bruch was a great composer and conductor of the late 19th and early 20th century. Although Bruch never visited Scotland, he pays homage to Scotland with his Scottish Fantasy for violin and orchestra in E-flat Major.
He composed this piece in dedication to the virtuoso violinist Pablo de Sarasate. The Scottish Fantasy is one of Bruch’s signature pieces. I also love this piece.
Please turn up the volume and enjoy these 3 great “Scotch” treats: Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, and the finale of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy for violin and orchestra.
Felix Mendelssohn: Hebrides Overture, “Fingal’s Cave”:
Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony #3 in C-minor, “Scottish”:
Max Bruch: Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra in E Flat Major:
Thank you, Scotland for inspiring this beautiful music. So, in your honor here is your national song, “Flower of Scotland” and the well known traditional Scottish song [composer unknown] “Loch Lomond” [I’ll Be In Scotland Afore Ye].
Flower of Scotland:
I hope you enjoyed these Scotch Treats.