I am always reluctant to criticize period reconstructions of baroque or earlier musical pieces as these. besides being interesting in their own right. are often more rewarding than modern re-interpretations.‘ (‘ontretemp‘s Virtue. Pleasure and the Pursuit of love: A Baroque Masquerade in Music. Song and Dancc'. however. was dreadful. The music. played on period instruments. was
played badly and w as even
out of tune. the entr'acte being particularly offensive. None of the dancers showed any real
were only shown to any
stage by the company's large. wooden soprano. who is of church-choir standard. but no better. The y enue was noisy: iust outside in the foyer is a cafe where. it says in the Fringe programme. free coffee would be served in the interval. In the event. even this proved to be a
ﬂuidity of movement. and
advantage when joined on
Carol Main on Carmina Burana and other classical music at this
If Carmina Buruna — in both its versions — reveals at least one surprising aspect. it's that monks are perhaps not all they might seem to be. Piety. in the 12th and l3th centuries anyway. was obviously not always the order of the day. With one of the most imaginative strokes of programme planning in this year‘s Festival. early audiences were able to hear Carl ()rff‘s Carmina Bum/ta. written in 1937. at the Usher l lall's Opening Concert last Sunday. followed by as near possible to an authentic version at the Queen‘s l la“ the next morning. After a fairly turgid expose of Strauss‘s Aux Ila/ion in the first half. the SN() back with their recently departed musical director. Neeme Jarvi. did wonders with the Edinburgh Festival Chortts and ()rff's gutsy score. As an opener. l’nrttma Imperatrit Mandi. that familiar tune known only too well from TV advertising. arose as an amazing well of sound. Jarvi giving it his all and his musicians responding i magnificently with enough punch to flatten just about every member of the capacity audience. Soloists too were well worthy of a Festival first night with .luliet Booth stepping in at the last minute. Sergei Leiferkus‘ in top form and Neill Archer splendid in the tenor role.
But back to the monks. Carmina Burmm's history is a fascinating one. Taken from a set of 12th and 13th century Bavarian Latin songs. discovered only in 1803 as a result of the secularisation of Bavarian monasteries. the poems were found to be by writers from various countries and classified by subject matter rather
disappointment as we were obliged to pay 30p for a plastic cup ofbad instant. Perhaps it was
(‘ontretemp‘s intention. in staging this ‘accurate reconstruction’ of a baroque musical entertainment. to show that 18th century tbeatre-goe rs had very low aesthetic standards and very high thresholds of boredom. I suspect not. I Virtue, Pleasure andthe Pursuit of Love Contretcmps. ()ld St Paul's Church I Iall. Jeffrey Street. £2.50
Altogether unliker it may sound »— Puccini sung in Swedish and set in China — but without doubt the l-‘olkopera of Stockholm Iiave certainly got what it takes to put together a performance of the calibre that has won it huge popular appeal over the last two years at the festival. 'l'urandot is very well integrated. bringing together music. dance. production and costumes
than author. A collection ofwitty works by clever and successful clerics side by side with rude and bawdy verses by lowly scholars. it is incredible it has survived. After the gallous directness of ()rff. Monday morning was a bit ofa relief. Using original musical manuscripts. the New London Consort tripped its way lightly through the lyrics. almost as if in ballad style. from tales of philosophical comment or praise ofJerusalem to gluttony and lttst. Tight ensemble playing directed by Philip Pickett and characterful singing from Catherine Bott and Simon Grant made for a highly pleasurable start to the Festival's morning concert series. (Carol Main)
to produce a complete entertainment. The vitality and energy ofthe young and talented cast is much in evidence right from the start with admirable committed performances from all principal parts. especially Turandot. Liu. and ('alaf (despite its being a large part for a young voice). Singingenthusiastically
throughout. the chorus (of 16). at times led one to believe many more voices were concealed in the wings. A few synchronisation problems occured between cast and orchestra. due largely to the fact that the orchestra was situated behind the action making it difficult. if not sometimes almost impossible for the singers to see the conductor. There was much fine playing from the orchestra. under the direction of Kerstin Nerbe. in a new musical arrangement for 28 players. the size perhaps complementing the younger voices. though at no point did the singersor the orchestra sound weak. The set designer must also
get a small mention for his magnificent red scaffolding set. The Folkopera production of Turandot is a marvellous evening out and must surely be one of the high points of the festival this year. If you can't buy a ticket. then beg. borrow or steal one — it's worth it! (Stuart Hope)
I Turandot-Folkopera of Stockholm [lilF] Leith Theatre. Ferry Road. 18. 1‘) Aug at 7.30pm; IS Aug at 2.30pm. £2.5(l—£8. Credit card sales 225 5756
This is the Fringe's answer to the Festival's 'Weckcnd of 20th Century Music.‘ Feasable Products — M ulti Media Events is planning six days of Performance Works and Contemporary Music presented three times daily. Two ofthe three events (at 2pm & 9pm) see the group ‘Iiclectic' performing their own material which is diverse in both content and approach. As well as contemporary music these productions also involve
dance. theatre. environments. performance etc.
The third performance (7pm) is billed asa contemporary music event with music byJohn Cage. Steve Reich. and Eclectic. Much ofthis music will have a large improvised or extemporised content and involves traditional instruments. chessboards. closed pianos and electronics. Willi a daily programme change there is plenty of opportunity to hear a wide variety of new music. This has to be one-up for the Fringe. (Carol Main)
I Performance Works and Contemporary Music; Feasible Products — Multi Media Events Pillar i fall. Barclay Church. Bruntsfield Place. August 22—27 at 2pm. 7pm and 9pm. £2.50 (£2). Tickets 22968“).
I Nixon in China (EIF) Playhouse Theatre, Greenside Place
1, 3 and 5 September. 7.30pm. £3.50—£16. Credit card sales 225 5756
The subject of much media hype, Houston Grand Opera's new work is based on President Nixon’s historic visit to Peking in 1972. Kissinger appears in the persona of a lecherous Chinese landlord who forces his slave girls into
submission by whipping. £9 extra brings champagne and supper on the last night, billed as a special Gala Performance.
I Vladimir Ovchinikov (EIF) (see photo) Oueen’s Hall, Clerk Street. Wednesday 31. 11am. £2.50—£7. Credit card sales 225 5756. The brilliant first prize winner of last year’s Leeds lntemational Piano Competition plays Liszt and Rachmaninov.
I Esther Lamandier (French Institute), Reid Concert Hall, Bristo Square. Saturday 27 and Tuesday 30 Aug. 7.30pm £3 (£2). Tickets 225 5366. The 1986 winner of Gramophone's Record Award in the early music and Renaissance section sings Aramean, Medieval, Andalusian and Sephardic songs.
I TUESDAY 23: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Usher Hall, Lothian Road. 8pm. Tickets: 225 5756 £4.50-£15.First of three RPO concerts has Brahms. Britten and Dvorak with conductor Erich Leinsdorf. Ashkenazy is soloist and conductor
the following evening in Mozart‘s A major Piano
Concerto K414 (EIF). I THURSDAY 25: Paul Coletti.0ueen's Hall. Clerk Street,11am, Tickets: 225 5756, £2.50-£7. Edinburgh born violisf fitting into the Festival's Italian theme with some rather interesting music. including Dallapiccola's arrangement of a Vivaldi Sonata (EIF). I SUNDAY 21: Scottish Early Music Consort Leith Theatre, Ferry Road, Tickets: 225 5756. £2.50—£7. lfalian songs of love and war by Monteverdi and contemporaries, including a costumed production of Combattimento de Tancredl e Clorinda (EIF). I MONDAY 22: Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra. Central Hall, Tollcross. 7.30pm. Tickets: 229 7937 £3.00 (£1 .50/Free). Youth orchestra festival opens up to include Scotland's newest youth jazz orchestra with director Bobby Wishart (Fr). I MONDAY 22: Viram Jasani and Gurden Singh Assembly Rooms, George Street. Tickets: 226 2427. 8pm. £4.50 (£3.50).lndian classical music on sitar, sarode and tabla (Fr). I Greek (EIF). Leith Theatre. Ferry Road. Thursday 25, Friday 26 and Saturday 27 Aug. 7.30pm. £5/£7 (£2.50 on day). Credit card sales 225 5756. Steven Berkoff's drama, Greek. set to music by the young British composer Mark Anthony Tumage. I Daniel and the Lions
(EIF). Greyfriars Kirk. Saturday 20. Monday 22, Tuesday 23, Wednesday 24, Thursday 25 Aug at 8pm.
I Music, Men and Manners (Fr), National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound. Thursday 18 and Friday 19 Aug. 7.45pm. £4.50 (£3.50). Take a cushion for music of 18th Century Italy performed in the midst of the beauties of Italian art, including the Pietro Longhi exhibition, and commentary from Charles Bumey’s travel diary of1770.
I Glenlivet Fireworks Concert (EIF) Ross Theatre, Princes Street Gardens. Thursday 25 Aug. 10.45pm. Free. No tickets left forthis annual spectacular, but plenty of Edinburgh hilltops given a clear night. Carl Davis' specially commissioned Fireworks Music. premiered last year, gets another airing, but it's no competition for Handel's Musicforthe Royal Fireworks of 1749. lfyou don’t want to risk the weather, the Handel can be heard indoors earlierthe same evening pertormed by the Palatine Chamber Orchestra at Central Hall, Tollcross (Festival of British Youth Drchestras- (Fr).
1145131.: '197— :5 August 1988 39