MUSIC / Odo di mesto intorno - Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

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The Independent Culture
'Not bad, for a king,' was C P E Bach's verdict on Frederick the Great's flute-playing. The aristocrats and royals of the Baroque period often had lessons from great musicians, but few achieved real excellence. One of the few, however, was Sir John Clerk, Second Baronet of Penicuik in the county of Midlothian, who studied with Corelli in the 1690s.

His cantata 'Odo di mesto intorno', gloriously sung by Margaret Marshall with the Camerata of St Andrew in Edinburgh on Monday, is much more than a copy of his master's style. The 22-year-old composer self- consciously shows off his talents; his textures are dense and ingenious, his rhythms subtle, his invention witty and original. If these performers record the piece it will become a must for collectors of entrancing rarities.

Leonard Friedman, who leads the group, has a broad, spontaneous way with the phrases and timbres, and can sometimes grab the heart. Several other works from Baroque Scotland, by William McGibbon, John McLachlan and Alexander Munro, demonstrated that the Scottish Enlightenment was not all dour philosophers and lawyers, and Corelli's Christmas Concerto recalled the source of the whole style.

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