Royal Scottish National Orchestra

“He is too young to have ever seen the legendary Sir Alexander Gibson in action, but the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s associate conductor, James Lowe, brought the RSNO’s late lamented maestro to mind when he made his first Inverness appearance with the orchestra in Tuesday’s Tchaikovsky evening.
Lowe had a similar podium technique and draws the same energy, colour and spontaneity from the orchestra. Even the glossy hair brought “Gibbie” to mind.

It was a most impressive debut, even if there were reservations about the balance in the opening bars of the Waltz from “Swan Lake” and the second movement of the piano concerto and the exaggerated punctuation in the first movement of the Fifth Symphony. This is the composer at his most profligate with melody and rhythm – and how Lowe lavished adoration on the glorious tunes and stirring march tempos.

Principal horn player David McClenaghan introduced the second movement’s great theme with perfect intonation and an even flow of sound and the cellos latched into it with equal warmth.

The dynamics of the finale were superbly controlled by the young conductor. Principal trumpet John Gracie provided a singing commentary as Lowe rallied his forces.The strings swirled thrillingly round the brass as they blazed out the theme before both forces united for the symphony’s resoundingly powerful climax that drew cheers from the audience and smiles of satisfaction from the orchestra.”

Jim Love, Inverness Courier