Edinburgh University, Edinburgh
Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Matthias Bamert
In 1994 the Faculty of Music at Edinburgh University celebrated its centenary. The original music department was established in the late eighteenth century by a British army officer, General Reid. A number of Scottish composers were asked to write a variation on one of his march tunes, "Old Gaul", for the centenary concert. Mémoire Impériale is one of those.
There is a conflict between plaintive, melancholic Celtic music and a rather threatening, militaristic music in this four-minute orchestra miniature. Perhaps this dialogue of musical materials can be seen as an evocation of cultural and political struggles which have persisted in Scotland from the Jacobite rebellion (1745-46) to the present day.
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer