November 1939: The Scottish Orchestra Opens Season – Two Popular Programmes – Sunday Concert at the Paramount a Success

An article on page nine of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 27th of November, 1939, includes a review of the opening programme

at the Saturday evening concert in St Andrew’s Hall, and a second programme, on Sunday afternoon, in the Paramount Theatre.


About the latter, the Herald’s music critic commented:




Lord Provost Dollan, towards the end of the Saturday programme, congratulated Mr Buesst and the Scottish Orchestra

on their excellent beginning, and pointed to the great audience as a visible sign of Glasgow’s resolve to keep hold of the

good things during war-time. In reminding the audience of the Sunday afternoon concert in the Paramount he said –

‘Some may not like the Sunday idea, but in my opinion it is long overdue.’


The Paramount’s huge auditorium was remarkably well filled for the afternoon concert, and by the consent of those who

were seated at 2.30 the start of the programme was delayed by 15 minutes to allow the long queues that were still outside

to get in. The Lord Provost was again present.


The Paramount is excellent for orchestral music. Once or twice the soft effects were almost too soft, but a mild adjustment

in terms of the larger space will make that right. In ensemble the result was a general mellowing in the big passages

without any loss of volume. The Paramount, indeed, is entirely sympathetic. The gain for the audience in truly comfortable

seating was much appreciated, and there is the further luxury of a hospitable lounge in which to pass the interval.




The programme was well chosen for a popular occasion, including only ‘certainties,’ and Mr Buesst and the orchestra gave

the audience great enjoyment in every number. For a body of players so recently assembled and playing two programmes

of familiar works on successive days the standard was creditably maintained. The ‘William Tell’ overture, Mozart’s ‘Kleine

Nachtmusik,’ and Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ symphony made the first half. In the second were the ‘Casse-Noisette’ Suite,

Sibelius’s Valse Triste, Grainger’s ‘Shepherd’s Hey’ (enthusiastically encored), and the ‘Flying Dutchman’ overture.


Mr Buesst did specially well in the more modern works. There were some fine results in ‘Casse-Noisette,’ and his

rendering of the ‘Flying Dutchman’ overture brought the concert to a brilliant close. The first Sunday experiment has been

entirely successful.”



There are advertisements for the “Special Sunday Concert” on page nine of the Herald, on Thursday the 23rd and Friday

the 24th of November.



George Fairfull-Smith, August 2022.