December 1939: Concert for War Relief, in the Paramount, Renfield Street – the Largest Audience in the History of the Scottish Orchestra

An article on page nine of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 1st of January, 1940, reads:




Orchestra’s Record Audience in Glasgow Theatre




In the Paramount Theatre yesterday evening the Scottish Orchestra

played to the largest audience in its history.


This was revealed by Lord Provost Dollan at the interval in the Hogmanay

concert which he had organised in aid of the City of Glasgow War

Relief Fund. He stated that there were over 3000 people in the theatre,

and that the fund would benefit by a sum of more than £500.


He thanked Mr Buesst, Mr David McCallum, and the members of the

Scottish Orchestra for contributing so importantly to this success by

giving their services for this concert.




The programme was drawn from the works of composers who

represented the oppressed nations. Smetana’s ‘Bartered Bride’

overture, the Largo from Dvorak’s ‘New World’ symphony, Wieniawski’s

‘Legende’ (with David McCallum as violin soloist), two movements from

Haydn’s ‘Farewell’ symphony, and Sibelius’s ‘Finlandia’ made a

representative first part.


After the interval Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ symphony was followed by an

extended Scottish section, including Scots airs played by Mr McCallum

with Harry Dorman at the piano, W. H. Cole’s Scottish dances and the

Gibilaro Scottish Fantasia. Between Mr McCallum’s Scots airs and Cole’s

Scottish dances there was the Blue Danube waltz, taking the audience

back once more to the Vienna of the great musical days.


Haydn’s ‘Farewell’ symphony was played on a stage set for the story. Two

candles were lighted at each desk, and the picture, though not eighteenth-

century in details, was very pleasant to see. When during the final slow

movement each player arrived at his or her ‘double bar’ the candle was

blown out and the player crept quietly off. In time only the conductor

was left, and he was gently led from the stage by an attendant with a



One cannot help wondering how Haydn felt when he came to the end

of this ‘farewell’ at the first performance. Probably he looked round

doubtfully to see how the Prince was taking it. But Haydn’s genial

qualities would save him.


Gerald Shaw played some national airs on the Paramount organ

before the concert began, and introduced each number of the orchestral

programme with a sentence or two that gave it its place on the war map.

The concert was in all respects a great success.”