I GLENLIVET FIREWORKS CONCERT SCO playing to one ol the world's biggest audiences tor a classical music concert. Some quarter of a million people now attend this annual pertormance when Handel's Fireworks music is accompanied by thousands oi pounds worth ot pyrotechnics. SCO (Festival) 30 Aug, Ross Theatre, Princes Street Gardens, 225 5756. £12.50/£2 (standing). Free at various vantage points 'round city. I KRElSLER STRING ORCHESTRA (Fringe) Stunning ensemble playing from this young prolessional group who pertorm without conductor. Repertoire ranging irom Vivaldi to Shostakovich. Kreisler String Orchestra. 29 and 30 Aug at 4pm;1 Sept at7.30pm, Reid Concert Hall, Bristo Square (venue 68), 226 5138. £3 (£2); £4 (£2.50). I BLUEBEARO'S CASTLE First perlormance at new production by the l Hungarian director Marion - Tasnadi oi Bartok’s poweriul opera in a rather unusual setting. Bluebeard’s Castle (Fringe) 27 Aug-1 Sept. (Fringe), Richard Oemarco Gallery, 17-21 Blackiriars Street (venue 22), 557 0707, 5 1.30pm, £5 (£3). 2
I THOMAS ALLEN Renowned baritone with pianist Roger Vignoles echoes the Stevenson celebrations oi the Festival's theatre programme with his Songs = oiTravelintheirsettingby I Vaughan Williams. A Thomas Allen (Festival) 28 Aug. Oueen's Hall, Clerk Street, 668 2019 (Festival), 11am, £3.50—£10.
I STRATHCLYOE SCHOOLS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA John Lubbock conducts one oi Britain's best youth orchestras with home grown international soloist Christine Cairns in Elgar's Sea Pictures.
National Association at Youth Orchestras (Fringe) Central Hall. Tollcross (venue 100), 229 7937, 7.30pm, £3.50 (£2/iree).
One of the most heartening aspects of Edinburgh in August is the breakdown of rigid division between Festival and Fringe. Now the Fringe is not only the domain of the up and coming but the established and well known too, while, vice versa, the Official Festival this year has included a new series of recitals by young musicians at the start of their professional careers — albeit hidden away into a late night corner ofthe programme. Such cross over between festivals not only goes for performers, but can, of course, apply equally to composers. In its contemporary music day the EIF included a work by teenage Scottish composer David Horne while this week, straddling both festivals, can be found the music of Aberdeen born but for many years Edinburgh-based composer John McLeod. On Friday 24 August the Rehearsal Orchestra (an ad hoc body of players who come together each year for the festival period in Edinburgh) perform his Lieder der Jugend. Then at a Queen’s Hall morning concert on Thursday 30, percussionist Evelyn Glennie includes The Song of Dionysius in her virtuoso programme.
McLeod’s music is regularly performed at festivals throughout Britain and abroad but the Edinburgh Festival continues to be a much valued platform. ‘It’s very useful‘ says McLeod ‘because one‘s work is exposed to audiences from all over the place. As a result, people are taking away the music to all over the world.’ He is particularly pleased about the Rehearsal Orchestra’s choice of Lieder der Jugend, settings of poems from Des Knaben Wunderhorn for tenor and orchestra. ‘It was first performed by
the SNO in 1978 and won the Guinness Prize in 1979, so it attracted a lot of interest then, which led to several performances, including the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Halle and the Orchestra of Saarbrucken Opera, but it’s not been heard in Scotland for ten years. It’s a work I’ve got a lot of affection for, although it was me in the 705 and I don’t write in the same way now.’ Soloist on this occasion is ex-St Mary’s Music School student Christopher Hobkirk, now studying in London with Neil Mackie, and McLeod himself conducts.
The Song of Dionysius was premiered by Evelyn Glennie, also Aberdeenshire born, at last year's BBC Proms and, as McLeod says
.i ‘She’s really doing it proud. There
are currently at least twenty
performances at Festivals throughout the UK.‘ He describes it as ‘a very theatrical piece, about Dionysius the Elder who builds a cave in the shape of an ear.‘ Glennie has also championed his Marimba Concerto, taking it on tour in Britain, as well as to the States. ‘The most important thing for a composer is when a solo artist the calibre of Evelyn Glennie — or, say. Jane Manning, Benjamin Luxon or Peter Donohoe - takes up your music. That’s what a composer wants. It‘s marvellous.‘ (Carol Main)
I Rehearsal Orchestra Edinburgh Academy Prep School Hall, Arboretum Road, 24 Aug. 7pm. Admission at door.
I Evelyn Glennie Queen‘s Hall,
; Clerk Street, 668 2019, 30 Aug,
i 11am, £H8.
_ The Ouenna
Having iirst seen the Bolshoi in a giant sized temporary opera house in Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition Centre, what a joy it was to be in a real theatre tor their Edinburgh production oi Prokoliev’s Betrothal in a Monastery. No distortion oi sound irom amplication, no ieeling oi great distance irom the stage, but singing and orchestral playing oi the calibre .one would expect irom this mighty opera house, heard to great eitect in the Playhouse's clear acoustic, and a visual delight throughout. Based on Sheridan‘s musical play, The Ouenna (which couldn't be translated into Russian, hence the change 01 name), Prokoliev’s version certainly captures
the spirit oi champagne he saw in it, but would have kept more iizz by being more drastically cut. But in this production, length hardly mattered. Sung in Russian, English surtities kept track oi the action and Valery
Leventhai's designs showed the same sort oi ingenuity seen in Glasgow, the set iorThe Ouenna being built up vertically layer by layer with a roundabout wheeling the characters in and out. Technical skills are clearly valued as much as musical ones at the Bolshoi. Outstanding among the Wednesday 15 cast was Nina Gaponova as the Ouenna, with a typically Russian big, iruity mezzo voice. Stage movement among soloists was often rather wooden but as in Glasgow the chorus and dancers brought iluidity to proceedings and, looking just like painted Russian dolls, a riot oi colour iorthe linal scene. But where was the audience? In Glasgow, the SOOO-plus auditorium — top ticket price £75— was lull. in the Playhouse — under 3000 seats and top price £33 — there were iar more empty seats than
there should have been. (Carol Main)
The List 24 — 30 August l‘)‘)il47