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Review: Nicholas Olsen's 'Summer' performed by The Glasgow Barons

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

Tonight marked The Glasgow Barons first formal concert in 29 months which featured a world premiere of ‘Summer’ by Nicholas Olsen (our very first ever podcast guest!).

‘Summer’ is a concerto for tenor recorder (performed tonight by László Rózsa) which featured a brand spanking new instrument making it's debut for Nick’s piece. On a dreich February night in the midst of storm Dudley, Nick’s piece transported us to the quintessential Scottish summer, featuring 3 movements: ‘Birds’, ‘Grey’ and ‘Peak’.

We were instantly intrigued by the ethereal sound of this unique recorder, as chirping bird sounds were passed between it and the string orchestra, creating a texture that was reminiscent of Sauchiehall Street’s cacophony of birds. In ‘Grey’ László showcased the sweet and delicate tone of this recorder, with soaring lyrical passages cushioned in a bed of soft string harmonics. ‘Peak’ started with quiet bubbling ostinato figures in the strings which were punctuated by both the soloist and lower strings creating an expansive and uplifting tone.

‘Summer’, sandwiched between two giants of the romantic era (Grieg and Tchaikovsky) was definitely the ‘meat’ of this musical sandwich, and the highlight of the evening for us!

Keep and eye on The Glasgow Barons YouTube channel for the release of ‘Summer’ (coming soon) and their website for more fantastic concerts!

Aileen and Ben

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