Conductor: Geoff Keating.
Soloists: Murray McLachlan and family.
• Beethoven: Finale of piano concerto No. 1 (Matthew)
• Beethoven: First movement of piano concerto No. 2 (Rose)
• Beethoven: First movement of piano concerto No. 3 (Callum)
• Beethoven: Second movement of piano concerto No. 4 (Matthew)
• Beethoven: Complete piano concerto No. 5 (Murray)
'McLachlan Family Beethoven Concerto Cycle
In November 2014, it became apparent that as Rose was learning all of the second Beethoven concerto, Callum played the third and Matthew was about to start work on the first, that we could perform the cycle of five (I would play the fourth and fifth). Over the past five years we had given many recitals for Sir Ernest Hall in his beautiful intimate recital hall in Lanzarote and he was keen to invite us to perform in his ‘Camel House’ series of concerts. When Sir Ernest heard that we could play all of the Beethoven Concertos, he suggested that we explore ‘Music minus One’ backing CDs in which the orchestra parts alone are laid out so that the solo parts can be performed with them. In this way, it would be possible to perform the concertos in his chamber sized concert hall.
The Beethoven concerto project all seemed really exciting and before we knew it we had two June 2016 dates in the diary to perform the works in Lanzarote in this manner, as well as a marathon five hour two interval concert with the same format for Rhyl Music Club in North Wales. After consulting and working for many many hours in rehearsals at home with Mill Productions (23 year olds Ben Sharpe and Dave Williamson ‘doctored’ the backing CDs considerably!) we were able to give what turned out to be really successful performances. It was quite an unusual project, with huge speakers on stage, Dave operating a lap top and interacting with each soloist rather like a conductor, Ben working the recordings and Kathryn helping invaluably by literally conducting along with the CD so that it was clearer for each of us playing the concertos in terms of keeping together with what were at times rather rushed, eccentric or just down right artificial passages in each ‘orchestra alone’ CD.
The ‘music minus one’ project certainly set us up well for live orchestral concerts, and these took place in August 2016 during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with the ‘Orchestra of the Canongait’ under Robert Dick at Greyfriars Kirk in three concerts, as well as over a weekend in early October 2016 in Totnes with the Torbay Symphony under Richard Gonski. Both these orchestral cycles were tremendously exciting of course, and there is a really lovely review of the latter in ‘seen and heard’:
Tonight, we are thrilled to be performing the concertos as a family for the fifth time. It is a privilege to collaborate with the wonderful Solway Sinfonia and Geoff Keating for such an important and worthy cause and we hope you enjoy some of the greatest music ever written'