For the culture vultures among grough readers, there’s an important date coming up.
A musical eulogy to one of the Highland’s shapeliest mountains will be performed for the first time on Saturday. Praise of Ben Dorain, by composer Ronald Stevenson, has been more than 40 years in the writing.
Beinn Dorain and the West Highland Way and railway
The work, based on a Gaelic poem by Duncan Ban MacIntyre, will have its premiere at Glasgow City Hall, performed by the Scottish Symphony Orchestra. The concert is part of the Celtic Connections festival.
Beinn Dorain’s towering pyramid dominates Glen Orchy and is a mesmeric milepost for the many walkers who pass under its bulk while traversing the West Highland Way. Its 1,076m (3,530ft) top is actually the culmination of two broad ridges, one leading to Beinn an Dothaidh and the other to Meall Garbh.
The symphonic work uses Hugh MacDiarmid’s translation into English of the original Gaelic poem and will be sung by a choir assembled by Scottish Opera. It will feature an interweaving of both versions of the poetry.
Duncan Ban MacIntyre was born in Glen Orchy in 1724 and composed Moladh Beinn Dobhrain in praise of the mountain he lived under and worked on. He died in Edinburgh in 1812.