“Summer seems to be lingering on, and if anyone has a special reason for wanting it to continue for a few more weeks it’s Dundee University music co-ordinator Graeme Stevenson. Last night in the Chaplaincy Centre saw the first in his four-part series of Music For A Summer Evening. Graeme might be on to a winner here, because the audience was significantly bigger than the usual mid-week concerts he organises. The choice of performer might have something to do with this because guitarist Matthew McAllister is well-known to Chaplaincy audiences. Apart from some quality playing, he has a nice laid-back style of presentation which did much to make the evening an extremely enjoyable one.
These concerts are more condensed than normal, but Matthew certainly did not leave the audience short-changed. Two Dowland pieces opened the concert and although I have heard the Frog Galliard many times, it still makes excellent listening, as did the sombre Mr Dowland’s Midnight. A quick switch to the Twentieth Century was engineered through three delightful works by Ralph Towner, of which the second Green And Golden appealed to me the most.
Matthew almost apologetically paid tribute to the anniversary of Mozart’s birth with Fernando Sor’s Variations on a theme from the Magic Flute. I am glad he did include this in the programme for this a lovely work, cleverly written in the Classical style and performed splendidly. Added to that two movements from Sergio Assad’s Aquarelle Suite and you had a programme that was wide and varied and played with complete competence and assurance.”