Harp and saxophone duo Baba Yaga interpret Mussorgsky

Harpist, Gwen Sinclair, one half of BabaYaga.
Harpist, Gwen Sinclair, one half of BabaYaga.

Hawick Music Club eagerly await the performance of BabaYaga at Tower Mill Theatre, Hawick, on Sunday, November 19.

BabaYaga are the unusual combination of saxophone (Karen Dufour) and the harp (Gwen Sinclair). The strange name of the duo refers to one of the movements from ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ by Modest Mussorgsky inspired by a witch from Russian folklore.

Saxophonist Karen Dufour, one half of BabaYaga.

Saxophonist Karen Dufour, one half of BabaYaga.

Gwen and Karen met while studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD), The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and use this musical partnership to discover new and original repertoire for saxophone and harp.

As well as their ensemble work together, both musicians enjoy orchestral playing and working with other artists in different combinations.

A mutual interest in new and original repertoire for saxophone and harp led them to embark upon transcribing ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ by Modest Mussorgsky; an exciting project they completed during Enterprise Music Scotland’s Creative Exchange at Crear.

Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) steeped himself in Russian folklore, landscape and alcohol.

He composed ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, his most famous work for piano, in 1874 after visiting a posthumous exhibition of paintings by his friend Victor Hartmann.

After viewing Hartmann’s sketches, stage designs, and architectural studies Mussorgsky felt the need to capture the experience in music.

‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ consists of 10 movements and each of the movements represents one of Hartmann’s drawings or artworks from the exhibition.

BabaYaga have since performed this work many times throughout Scotland. Their performance will take place during the second half of the concert.

The first half of the concert will feature classical composers starting with Johann Christian Bach, Sinfonia in Bb Major, followed by Second Movement Andante, Third Movement Presto, Bumcke Nocturne, Max Bruck Kol Nidrei op4, concluding with Claude Debussy Arabesqe Number 1.

BabaYaga perform at 2.30 pm. Tickets £10, (under 18s free) available from 01450 360688 or www.heartofhawick.co.uk.