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Innovative Scottish group Mr McFall’s Chamber will travel to Shetland for a stunning performance at Mareel on Thursday 5 June, presented by Shetland Arts.

Mr McFall's Chamber have been described as “the jewel in the Scottish musical crown” (The Scotsman), and lauded as “potentially the most important single development on the Scottish music scene for a long time” (The Herald).

The ensemble plays a range of music from tango through jazz and rock to contemporary classical, taking in quite a lot besides. It consists of string quartet, bass, piano, percussion and sometimes vocals - and more as required.

The group was formed in 1996 from a number of players from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Scottish Ballet, with a core group comprising two violins, viola, cello and bass. The group collaborates with additional musicians from project to project – regularly working with additional pianists, percussionists, singers and soloists, depending on the nature of the programme.

Lisa Ward, Shetland Arts’ Marketing Officer, said: “Mr McFall’s Chamber has an international reputation for excellent music-making and providing enjoyable concert-going experiences for all. We are looking forward to welcoming them to Mareel in the summer and we suspect there will be a lot of interest in this concert when tickets go on sale next Friday, so are advising early booking.”

Mr McFall's Chamber - Maria de Buenos Aires - Thu 16 May 2013 - The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh (Photo Credit - Andy Catlin) -0225

Maria de Buenos Aires playing with Mr McFall's Chamber. Photo by Andy Catlin.

The programme that the ensemble will perform at Mareel is entitled Dancing Under The Shadows. In the twenties and thirties Argentine tango took the whole world by storm, but nowhere more so than Poland, where songwriters and dance band leaders wrote their own tango numbers and, during the 30’s, developed a specifically Polish style.

The lavish nightclub scene in Warsaw and Krakow flourished to the music of these composers, albeit under the shadow of the rise of fascism over the border in Germany. No-one could have known, however, how completely Warsaw would eventually be destroyed. Many of the songwriters, composers, bandleaders, singers and musicians, the vast majority of whom were Jewish, were murdered in the death camps.

Dancing Under The Shadows features tango numbers by Artur Gold, Jerzy Petersburski, Fanny Gordon, Zygmunt Wiehler, Wiktor Krupinski and Stanislaw Ferszko. It also includes Grazyna Bacewicz’s first piano quintet, written soon after the war. Bacewicz, leader of the Polish Radio Orchestra from 1936 until 1938, continued to live in Warsaw throughout the war, playing in clandestine concerts as well as for the Main Relief Council.

The pieces that will be performed are: 1) Grażyna Bacewicz - Piano Quintet - Moderato molto estressivo/ Allegro; Scherzo; Grave; Con Passione (1951) 2) Jerzy Petersburski - Tango Milonga (1928) 3) Artur Gold - Gdzie Twoje Serce? (1930) 4) Fanny Gordon (Faige Jofé) - Skrwarione Serce (1932) 5) Zygmunt Wiehler - Usta (1934) 6) Wiktor Krupinski - Prztul, Uściśnij, Pocaluj (1935) 7) Stanislaw Ferszko - Gdy Odejdziersz (1937)

Tickets for the concert will go on sale on Friday 7th March via Shetland Box Office in Mareel & Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555, and online at and

Update @ 5.3.14 - tickets will go on sale Tuesday 11th Marc, rather than Fri 7th as previously advertised - we apologise for this delay.


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