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Composer: Suckling, Martin (b. 1981)

Fact file
Year of birth1981
NationalityUnited Kingdom
PeriodContemporary
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Scottish Ensemble: A bracing Seavaigers in Glasgow

Sally Beamish © Ashley Coombes
Scottish Ensemble, Catriona McKay and Chris Stout in a programme mixing the classical and the Celtic; the composed and the improvised; the individually crafted and the collaboratively collaged.
****1
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Scottish Ensemble: Britain vs. Germany – you decide!

© Scottish Ensemble
The Scottish Ensemble playfully challenged the audience to decide game-show style, which country’s string music won the night: Germany or Britain? Indeed, the concert was a game of two halves with Britain being represented by William Walton and Martin Suckling in the first and Germany by Leopold Hurt and Brahms in the second.
****1
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Re-defining the string quartet? Scottish Ensemble at the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

Scottish Ensemble  ©  Tommy Ga-Ken Wan
The Scottish Ensemble’s tagline, “re-defining the string orchestra” could, in this particular programme, have justified the additional claim “re-defining the quartet”. The only work in this imaginatively conceived, four-item programme not written for quartet (or double quartet) was the opening Musical Postcard no. 4 by the young British composer Martin Suckling.
****1
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Scottish Chamber Orchestra and George Benjamin celebrate Britten

George Benjamin  ©  Robert Millard
This second of two SCO Britten centenary concerts saw its subject juxtaposed with two living British composers and Mozart. Cynics might consider the closing Symphony no. 40 in G minor (1788) a reward for surviving the rest of the programme’s modernity.
****1
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Music to drive you wild: La Follia with Scottish Ensemble

Scottish Ensemble  ©  Tommy Ga-Ken Wan
A very striking wild-eyed hirsute man has been staring out at us across Scotland on posters for this concert tour, showing that the Scottish Ensemble has adapted well to the modern world of promotion, using titles, straplines and imagination. On the face of things, the choice of eight seemingly very disconnected pieces in the programme, from 1700 to the present day, was disconcerting.
****1
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