V FOLK PETER NAROINI
‘I have to tape a plectrum to my thumb. sometimes it‘sthe only way lean play,‘ laments Peter Nardini. West of Scotland songwriter and performer. More common. than you might think — there‘s even a specialist at Edinburgh‘s Royal Inﬁrmary- tendonitis and other repetitive strain injuries are suffered by many musicians in their careers. Pete hasn‘t been doing many gigs because of it. resting the knotted muscles. but happily his brain doesn't get strained from over-use; he‘s written plays for St Andrew's Byrc Theatre. Cumbernauld and 7:84‘s Scotland Matters. and the songs keep arriving.
A new album is due soon and he plays Edinburgh as part of Eclectic Records‘ Festival showcase.
Famously bleak. darkly-humoured and wittily ironic. Pete's tone is changing. ‘I suppose you‘ll hear a difference in the songs. My first album was quite hard. political. I‘ve written a song recently about Ravenscraig. I work as an art teacher in the area. but it's more of a love song. I suppose if! had written the song ten years ago.l would have attacked all the obvious targets. the bosses. the politicians; but the closure of the Craig is more complex and painful. like a love affair that had to end.‘
I Peter Nardini (Fringe) Acoustic Music Centre (Venue 25) 220 2462. 20 Aug. 5 Sept. 10.30pm.£5 (£3.50).
LATE NIGHT CONCERTS
A glance at the Usher Hall orchestral programme for this year‘s Festival shows that the tradition ofan 8pm start is making way for the occasional 7.30pm kick-off. On closer inspection. the reason for this becomes clear. In a new move to catch late night classical music revellers. the Festival is presenting its first 10.30pm concert series. so Edinburgh‘s main concert hall is having to play host to two performances an evening. While obviously never envisaged as a sell-out concept. the time-slot nevertheless gives space for imaginative programming. On Monday 17. Ann Murray.
Whisky Society area ; liquid legacy ofthc great
. lies a tale; many tales to be
3 Philip Langridgc and
Peter Donohoe give a performance of Mahler’s great song-cycle Das Lied . Von Der Erde in the composer‘s own piano
version. while on Thursday 3. Sir Charles
Mackerras conducts a new group. the Edinburgh Festival Ensemble. in Schoenberg's arrangement of the same work. Piano recitals from
‘ Benjamin Frith and
Richard Goode. who both play Beethoven, complete the series. (Carol Main) I Mahler's Das Lied Von
Der Erde (International
Festival) Ann Murray. Philip Langridgc and Peter Donohe. Usher Hall. 225 5756. Mon 17. 10.30pm. £10.
I Beethoven's Thirty-Three Variations On A Waltz By Diabelli (International Festival) Benjamin Frith, Usher Hall. 225 5756.
I Beethoven’s Hammerklavier
Richard Goode. Usher
Hall, 225 5756. Tue 1.
I Mahler's Das Lied Von
Der Erde (International Festival) Edinburgh Festival Ensemble. Usher Hall. 225 5756. Thurs3. 10.30pm. £10.
f v FOLK
THE SPIRIT OF SCOTLAND
I With a history ofabout eighteenturies of more or
less continous use as a repository and shipping store for wines and spirits. the vaults in Leith now owned by the Malt
attraction of the Scot to the bottle. And therein
Telling them in the leather armchairs and open-fired comfort ofthc
Clubroom will be a
rotating team of storytellers. singers and traditional musicians including Margaret and Martin Bennet. Tom McKeane. Peter McNeil].
Alison Millen and David
and Linda Campbell. Titled The Spirit Of
Scotland. whisky. its lore.
myth and music will be the
3 theme. and the admission
1 price includes two ample drams ofthc finest of
malts. to make sure ofthc audiences‘ receptivity.
A vast selection of malt whisky is on sale at lower-than-normal prices at the bar, where rare distillations can be found among the Society‘s own bottlings from famous
houses of Islay and
Singer Davey Steele of Scottish band Clan Alba enthuses about the band, not
yet a year old.
‘We’re doing much better at this stage than anyone thought or hoped. When . we play the Edinburgh Festival gig it E will only be ourthird concert although ! we've had plenty oi rehearsals.’ | At the core oi the band's appeal is the virtuosic voice and guitar oi Dick Gaughan, but the group is certainly not Dick’s backing band. Patsy Seddon and ‘ Mary Macmaster, aka Sileas, share clarsach, electro harp and vocals, with err-Battlefield Bandperson Brian MacNeil, multl-instrumentalist and songwriter, contributing another vocal track. Gary West, piperwith Davey
Steele in Ceolbeg, plays various pipes
and whistles and there is a wagonload of percussion and drums controlled by Dave Tulloch and Mike Travis.
, “When we last played the Queen’s Hall, it was ourllrst gig, the closing concert of the Folk Festival, and we
know that the audience next week won’t
be a “talk” audience; there will be lots or visitors to Scotland and Edinburgh. But i hope they'll enjoy it. It’s Scottish
music, we’re all Scots, we live here in the 1990s, and the music reflects that. We all love traditional music and it can’t help being part oi what we do but it wouldn’t be useful to define us as a iolk band.” (Norman Chalmers)
Clan Alba (Fringe) Aegis Productions, Oueen’s Hall (Venue 72) 668 2019, 20 Aug, 9pm, £8, £6, £5.
I'll leave the final word to James Hogg. who opined. ‘lfa body could just find oot the exac' proportion and quantity that ought to be drtrnk every day and keep to that. I verily trow that he might leeve for ever without dying at a'. and that doctors and kirkyairds would go oot o‘ fashion.‘ (Norman Chalmers)
. IThe Spirit OlScotland Malt Whisky Society
(Venue 102) 7.45pm. Mon—Wed throughout the
V FOLK '
An ancient art in Brittany continues in the tradition of call-and-response instrumental playing. A small. high-pitched. mouth-blown bagpipe. the biniou swaps phrases with the penetrating voice of
t the bombarde. or Breton shawm.
The Scottish Highland
bagpipe began to make
inroads into Breton
culture after World War
II. and there are scoresof bands now playing the
instrument in a unique Breton style.
Breton airs and dance tunes suit the big pipe very well. and the Breton groups‘ approach is not so militaristic as their Scots counterparts. And they
also incorporate their biniou and bombarde giving their pipe bands or Bagads a very distinctive sound.
One ofthc leading bands from this Celtic nation arrives for a series of concerts and competitions next week. Bagad Kemper shares the concert with the Scotrail Vale ofAtholl Pipe Band.
The Vale are no strangers to the prize lists of the big championships but they also have in their ranks some of the finest of the young pipers who play in the plethora ofhigh quality contemporary folk bands. so a Vale ofAtholl concert usually features synthesisers and other instruments in some sub groupings. A probable sell-out. so get your tickets early. (Norman Chalmers)
I Bagad Kemper(Fringc) Leith Town 112111.228 1155.19 Aug. 7.30pm.
MOSES AND AARON
For the second time this year. a major British arts festival will launch its programme with a
. large-scale work by
Arnold Schoenberg. and not an anniversary in sight.
The Manchester Festival Of Expressionism chose the early Gurrelieder. but
Edinburgh offers a rare performance of the more forbidding opera Moses AndAaron (in English). with Richard Armstrong conducting the BBC SS() and the augmented Edinburgh Festival Chorus. Choirmaster Arthur ()ldham has been knocking them into shape for months. at the cost of considerable pain for the singers who have not adapted easily to its demanding idioms.
The opera was begun during the period of Schoenberg‘s serial experiments. and he worked on it from 1930—32. but despite frequent expressions of his desire to complete the work. he never did so.
lfits stringent 12-tone structures and manifold complexities (including the difficult half-sung. half-spoken style known
‘ as ‘sprechstimme‘) prove
too much. the composer can also be heard in more accessible vein in the orchestral version of his string sextet ‘Verklarte Nacht‘ (Usher Hall. 26
2 Aug.7.30pm).His j chamberarrangemcnt of
Mahler‘s ‘Das Lied Von Der Erde‘ will also be performed (Usher Hall. 3 Sep. 10.30pm). while Neil MacKay will lecture on his work (Queen‘s Hall. 19 Aug, 1.10pm. free). (Kenny Mathieson)
I Moses And Aaron (International Festival) BBC Scottish Symphony
Orchestra. Usher Hall. 225 5756. Sun 16.8pm. £1 1-£26.
One of the most popular composers ever. Tchaikovsky looms large in this year‘s International Festival. Just one year away from the centenary of his death. the 1992 Festival. in a major retrospective of his output. includes more than 30 different works. As well as all six symphonies. the orchestral programme features ballet music. concertos and other symphonic works such as the Mozartiana Suite. Chamber music includes the string quartets. works for solo piano and ensemble. The first all-Tchaikovsky programme comes from the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra on Monday 17 at the Usher Hall. the main works being the Winter Daydreams symphony and the Violin Concerto with Joshua Bell as soloist. Apart from the well-known. the Festival also offers the opportunity to hear several Tchaikovsky rarities. Seemingly not one ofthe composer‘s own favourites. The ()prichnik (‘The Life Guardsman'). described as ‘a melodrama of love and conspiracy" gets a performance by Scottish Opera at the Usher Hall on Thursday 20. At the King‘s Theatre there‘s a chance to see a recreation of the original ballet/opera double bill of Yolanta and The Nutcracker ( 26-29 August). while the Fireworks Concert on Thursday 27 shuns the 1812 Overture in favour of the Festival Coronation March, written to be played in a public park following a commission from the City of Moscow. Perhaps the City of
Edinburgh will take
inspiration and follow suit for next year. (Carol Main)
I Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra (International Festival) Usher Hall. 225 5756. Monday 17.
‘ 7.30pm.£8—£20. : ITherrichnik
Scottish Opera. Usher
. Hall. 225 5756. Thursday
20. 7pm. iii—£22.
I Glenlivet Fireworks Concert (International Festival) Princes Street Gardens. 225 5756.
I Thursday 27. 11pm.
The List 14 — 20 August 1992 57