thu 18/04/2024

Edinburgh Festival

Isidore Quartet / Mao Fujita, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 - carefree beauty and improvisatory flair

The Edinburgh International Festival’s Queen’s Hall series ended with two very impressive debuts. Thursday morning brought the Isidore Quartet, who winningly, if slightly naively, told us that Edinburgh had a similar energy to their native New York....

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Tannhäuser, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 - compelling concert Wagner

This was one of the more strait-laced concert performances, with few concessions to Wagner’s underlying stage drama. The soloists were in formal concert dress, strung out in a line at the front of the stage, with interaction between them limited to...

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Nick Pritchard, Ian Tindale, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - a partnership in which to lose yourself

Several years ago I got chatting to a young tenor who was training at the Royal Northern College of Music. He was enjoying his studies, but complained that, as a British tenor, he got offered a lot of Britten and Handel but not an awful lot else....

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Wang, Oslo Philharmonic, Mäkelä, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - sparkling concertos, bleak Shostakovich

Every time I have heard Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, some wiseacre in the bar afterwards trots out the predictable joke that it’s a cheap concert as the pianist gets only half the fee. For all that this is obviously nonsense, most...

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Turangalîla-Symphonie, LSO, Rattle, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - impressive climax to residency

A performance of Olivier Messiaen’s kaleidoscopic Turangalîla-Symphonie is always going to be a bit of an event. The Edinburgh International Festival set this one up nicely by making it not only the impressive culmination of a four-concert residency...

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Dimanche, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - troubling and bewildering

A toy car – in fact, a mobile home with comically enormous antenna on top – shudders over arms and shoulders as if they were mountain ranges. A colossal polar bear comforts its curious cub. A lifesize puppet grandmother is chased up and down stairs...

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Castalian Quartet, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - nothing taken for granted

This concert, the Edinburgh International Festival debut of the Castalian Quartet, almost didn’t happen due to the illness of their second violin, Daniel Roberts. Then, a couple of days ago, in stepped Yume Fujise, leader of the Kleio Quartet, to...

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Yeol Eum Son / Clara-Jumi Kang, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - theatrical virtuosity from stunning soloists

The Edinburgh International Festival’s focus on Korea moves to the Queen’s Hall in the festival’s middle week, with performances from two Korean soloists playing alone.Yeol Eum Son has already made waves in Scotland, and she chose some meaty...

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National Youth Choir of Scotland, RSNO, Bell / Quasthoff, Amatis Trio, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - from the heights to the depths

The National Youth Choir of Scotland have the most easily pronounceable acronym in Scottish music: everyone up here knows who you’re talking about when you mention NYCOS.They’ve been going from strength to strength under their Artistic Director,...

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Han, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Inkinen / Dunedin Consort, Butt, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - a tale of two very different orchestras

There’s a Korean strain to the Edinburgh International Festival’s programme this year, more in the drama programme than in the music one, but it came to the Usher Hall in Friday night’s concert from the KBS Symphony Orchestra (★★★★). They play a...

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Schiff, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer / Emmanuel Ceysson & Friends, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - Hungariana and harp

You’d feel short-changed if an orchestra like the Budapest Festival Orchestra came to the Edinburgh Festival and didn’t play some Hungarian music, so why not put together a whole concert of the stuff? The musicians of the BFO are fiercely proud of...

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Ilker Arcayürek, Malcolm Martineau, Edinburgh International Festival 2023 review - vocal tension saved by poetic pianism

It’s an everyday story of festival folk. The festival’s Queen’s Hall concert on Wednesday morning was meant to be a song recital from Günther Groissböck, but he cancelled at (I’m told very) short notice due to illness and the festival team had to...

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