Scottish Ensemble with Catrin Finch, Cottiers Theatre, Glasgow

Michael Tumelty

The Herald

The Joy of Savourna Stevenson’s music, I have always found, is that it is direct music, from the heart and to the heart, absolutely open and totally honest in its integrity and expressive qualities…The concerto, full of whole-tone and pentatonic implications, and lovingly played by Finch with expressive delicacy and an alluring sense of elan, is actually a voluptuously Romantic piece, unashamedly gorgeous in its first movement, with more than a hint of tango, a wonderfully touching sense of yearning, perhaps melancholy, in its second, and a darker, striking flavour of Bernard Hermann in the harmonies and mood of its finale.

Scottish Ensemble with Catrin Finch, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

Ken Walton


No question about the influence of Debussy and Ravel on Savourna Stevenson’s Concerto for Pedal Harp, which received its first performance as part of last night’s Scottish Ensemble concert, featuring harpist Catrin Finch as soloist. More interestingly, Stevenson has cast her three-movement concerto in unashamedly romantic mode…besides the lush French-style harmonies and pulsating Spanish dance rhythms are luscious Mantovanian string flourishes and cooler, lustier reminiscences of Piazzola…a wonderfully busy piece, served up with extraordinary vitality and singeing warmth by Finch and the thick-set strings of the Ensemble.