Edited down from Hans Christian Anderson’s original by playwright Stuart Paterson, The Snow Queen was read with theatricality and passion by Siobhan Redmond, dressed in her sparkling white finery. But it is at the door of Scottish composer Savourna Stevenson that most plaudits must be laid. Her expansive score captured the essence of Anderson’s tale – the fear, tenderness, loyalty. Each step of the narrative journey was accompanied with just the right musical intent.
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.