Recording in the Wighton Centre

Last Monday, the Wighton Centre was turned into a recording studio by recording enginner Bob Turner, to record some tracks for the forthcoming limited edition CD produced by the Friends of WIghton as part of the fundraising for the Sir Jimmy Shand Collection.

Tracks were recorded from Mark Spalding playing a Ronald Stevenson composition on the harpsichord, the Wighton Singers, Ellie McDonald reading poetry, Simon Chadwick playing the replica Queen Mary harp, and Morag Anne Elder on the fiddle with Katie playing cello.

At least two of the tracks are the first ever recordings (the harpsichord and harp track). Other tracks are being recorded at Gardyne Studios, and also some tracks will be donated by other artists from their published CDs.

If you missed claiming the CD as a perk on our Indiegogo crowdfunding last month, you will still be able to buy your copy when the strictly limited edition is released.

Pert, Stockhausen, McGuire & Bartok in the Wighton Centre

This morning, Mark Spalding presented his diverse and fascinating programme of 20th century keyboard music for this year’s first Friends of Wighton cappuccino concert. To a full audience, Mark presented a selection of compositions played on no fewer than five keyboards – the electric piano, two electronic keyboards, melodica, and the lovely Wighton harpsichord.

Mark was joined by Haworth Hodgkinson who provided improvised percussion responses to each of the 12 sections of the Stockhausen “Tierkreis” (signs of the zodiac) cycle. The alternation of the very quick, complex, almost mechanistic keyboard sections, each played on a different instrument, with the very free and impressionistic and very loud gong percussion interludes, was really striking, and helped very much this music to become intelligible and accessible to all present. I think quite a few people were very surprised to hear the atonal Stockhausen music played on the harpsichord!

Howarth also performed two lively and thoughtful pieces of his own poetry with instrumental accompaniment, one played on a giant bass recorder and one played on a gas bottle.

In his concise but useful spoken introductions to each work, Mark made a number of interesting connections with Dundee for many of the pieces. The suite by Morris Pert which opened the programme was very well played, and it was a great pleasure to have the composer Eddie McGuire present for Mark’s playing of a couple of his piano and organ works.

Wighton harpsichord & piano concert in Dundee

On Saturday 24th January, the first in this year’s series of Cappuccino Concerts will be held in the Wighton Centre, upstairs in Dundee Central Library.

These popular Saturday morning events are held every month, with coffee and newspapers served from 10.30am and the music performance from 11am to noon. Admission is £5.

For January, the Friends of Wighton are pleased to welcome back Mark Spalding, who will perform a programme of unusual and exciting music on the piano and also on the Wighton harpsichord – a delicious 18th-century style instrument that is kept in the Wighton centre.

The programme will include some Burns night themed music by Eddie McGuire, as well as showcasing some items from Mark’s latest project to mark the 40th anniversary of Stockhausen’s “Tierkreis” (signs of the zodiac).

Mark said: “This is Stockhausen’s most popular and accessible piece: very tuneful, each of the 12 melodies has a definite tonal centre”.

Mark will also be joined by composer Haworth Hodgkinson, who will perform some of his own compositions as well as providing percussion for Mark’s Stockhausen performance.

Mark’s playing on the beautiful harpsichord is sensitive and expressive and is always a hit with Wighton Centre regulars. This unusual programme of piano and harpsichord music should prove to be a very enjoyable morning!

Ancient and Modern Keyboard music from Angus


The Friends of Wighton’s monthly Wednesday Lunchtime concert in Dundee will be on Wednesday 2nd March 2011, at 1.15pm. The venue is the Wighton Heritage Centre, upstairs in Dundee Central Library. Admission is free.

The programme has a local theme, with Mark Spalding playing keyboard music both ancient and modern. He will perform 17th century harpsichord music from the Panmure manuscripts, unique collections of Scottish music preserved for generations at Panmure House, near Carnoustie, Angus. The manuscripts are a rare survival of Scottish art music of this early date, and include music by the Scottish composer, William Kinloch.

Mark will also play modern piano music composed by the recently deceased Arbroath born composer Morris Pert (1947-2010). Morris Pert was born in Arbroath, Scotland in 1947. He graduated B.Mus. from Edinburgh University in 1969, and went on to study composition and percussion at the Royal Academy in London, where he was a pupil of Alan Bush. He has written three symphonies.

The Wighton Centre, upstairs in Dundee’s Wellgate library, is a beautiful performance and study space, built to house the Wighton Collection: an internationally important collection of over 700 old books of Scottish music. The collection of rare antique volumes was assembled by Dundee Merchant Andrew Wighton, and donated by him to the City after he died in 1866. The centre is also home to a very fine French two-manual harpsichord, which will be used for Wednesday’s recital.

For more information please visit http://www.friendsofwighton.com
or phone 07792 336804
Morris Pert’s website is at http://www.morrispert.com

The attached photograph shows Mark Spalding at the Wighton Harpsichord, at a recent recital in the Wighton Centre as part of Dundee Keyboard Festival.