Over the last fifteen years. The Festival of British Youth Orchestras has built up a reputation for . presenting an outstanding quantity and range of concerts which. at their best. rival the official Festival for sheer quality and commitment. Although the quota of

foreign orchestras is down from the usual three. this year's Festival includes an imaginative liaison between the Edinburgh and Uppsala Youth Orchestras. fortnng the Edinburgh International Youth Orchestra for performances in Edinburgh on l2 Aug and in Glasgow on 14 Aug. The Ulster Youth Orchestra too. makes its first visit (Glasgow. 2! Aug. Edinburgh. 22 Aug). The Netherlands Youth Orchestra though. is only playing in Glasgow. also on 12 Aug.

The Central Hall makes

an ideal venue for these concerts. a friendly. informal way to enjoy classical music. This year’s programmes include many favourites Tchaikovsky's Fourth.

Fifth and Sixth

symphonies. Shostakm'itch's Fifth. as well as lollipops such as Falla's Fire Dame and Barber's Adagio. (Peter Cudmore)

I National Association of

Youth Orchestras (Fringe) =

Central Hal! (Venue l()()). 12 Aug—2 Sept. various times and prices. Also at Stevenson Hall. RSAMD. Glasgow.

Don Giovanni

In a Festival packed with an outstanding programme of opera, including The Kirov and Scottish Opera’s new production of The Jacobin, one of the highlights will certainly be the Scottish Chamber orchestra’s concert performance of Don Giovanni. But surely a concert

‘I don’t think that there’s any disappointment. It’s a different presentation and the focus is on a different area - the music comes to the fore. The drama of the opera is through facial expressions rather than through any lavish sets, but it’s a very valid way of presenting opera, particularly when this concert has such a high quality of singers.’

The quality of the singers is indeed high. With an international line-up including Dole Skovhus, Cecilia Gasdia, Felicity Lott and the Chorus of

performance without costumes, lavish set and staging will disappoint the audience? Barry Kempton, the SCD’s Concerts Director, disagrees.

from Minnesota

(I! (lit ('I'ussrtirltls

a suberb interplay between the three musicians " Sounding Strings

An exciting fusion oi‘classical, ia'lxl. and traditional music." .Minneapolis Tribune

A2915} Thurs. 17th. & Fri. 18th, 7pm. St. John's Church. Venue #127

Sunday 20th., 7.30pm. Acoustic Music Center, Venue #25

Monday 21st., 8pm. St. Mark's Church, Venue #125

Thursday 24th., 7.30pm. St.Andrew & St.George.Venue #111

£4.50 (£3.50) Tickets from the Fringe Box Office Credit card sales (0131)226-5138

the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, all under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras, it promises to be an impressive sound.

Don Giovanni is the fourth in a series of concert performances of Mozart’s operas, all of which have been collaborations between the 800, the International Festival and the American recording company Telarc, and all conducted by Mackerras.

‘Charles is a very thinking conductor,’ says Kempton. ‘lle thinks everything through extremer carefully

the way he wants something to be. This way, he can compare with what happens and then experiment.’

‘lt’s a massive proiect,’ he continues, ‘and it’s not a project that any of the

their own. It’s a proiect that the orchestra values very highly - one of the most important of the year for us, and Don Giovanni promises to be the best one yet.’ (John Cuthbertson) Dan Gio vanni (Festival) Usher Iiall, 225 5755, 14 Aug, 7pm, £54325.

Baton charge: Sir Charles Mackerras

' Scottish folk bands, and has always I L had a strong song component, but with i the recent arrival of Rod Paterson,

; famed for his live performances and albums with Jock Tamson’s Cairns and g

? although he admits that ‘we had a few ; warm-ups in England. They were good,

Ceolbeg is one of the best-known

The Easy Club, they now have arguably l the best singer in Scotland (and Richard Thomson’s stated favourite). Their Dueen’s Hall concert is essentially Rod’s debut with the band, :

Ceolbeg: luplns, apparently

and bass player. In fact, he used to play in an [A funk band. 0n top of that he’s a really good piper so you can see he’s strange. He’s a lupin, but he’s great.’

Canadian Jim Walker, as well as playing in new band Seelyhoo and guesting in many bands and sessions round Edinburgh, is Drum Major of Mike’s pipe band, the Scottish Gas Pipe Band, and has a great understanding of the ceolbeg of the piping tradition.

but they don’t count.

Apart from a fine sense of humour, Ceolbeg sport a fine harp and i concertina player in Wendy Stewart, ' keyboards and occasional accordion i from Colin Mathieson, founder and flute player Pete Boond who also handles cittern and, in the the band’s engine room, two North Americans: : piper, guitarist and bass player Mike = Katz, and drummer and percussionist

l Jim Walker.

Bod, a respected guitar player himself, enthuses, ‘Mike’s from and he needs singers who can react to l California. He looks like 22 Top with glasses, and he’s a brilliant guitarist

The word ceolbeg (from the Gaelic for small music on the Highland bagpipe) is the name given to the reels, iigs, hornpipes and dance music which is not piobaireachd, the great music. Jim’s superb technique and skill on kit drums and hand percussion is a delight when a common failing of ; contemporary folk crossover bands is that the drummer tends to bash out a rock groove that does little for the music. (Norman Chalmers)

Ceolbeg (Fringe) Guam ’5 Ila/I, Clerk Street ( Venue 72) 668 2019, 17 Aug, 7.30pm, £6 (£4).

' IE2— lndividual companies could manage on i AND


Apart from the odd disruption. like the pianist‘s broken artn or a

live rugby international on

telly. Alex Shaw's

resrdence at Platform One

has become the best- established ofall the

' Scottish pub-based gigs.

They usually manage to

come up with something a 1 little different for the

; Festival. and have done so on an impressive scale

L this year.

Alex will play on both

1 Saturdays and Sundays of j the first three weekends.

sharing the bill with the Edinburgh Jazz Orchestra. a fully-fledged big band led by baritone saxophonist Bob Peters.

; which draws on some of the best players in the

Edinburgh area (and now has its own new once-a-

month residence at this

venue). It should provide a fine showcase for Shaw‘s marvellous grasp ofjazz harmony. and for grassroots jazz in Edinburgh. (Kenny Mathieson)

I Alex Shaw and the EJD (Fringe) Platform One. 225 2433. 12—13. 19—20. 26-27 Aug. 12.30pm. £1.50 (£1).


To say that Dick Wardell has kept a low profile in recent times is something ofan understatement. It is also a great shame. since his particular slant on the classic acoustic blues format is a consistently enjoyable one. Born in London. he played blues in the south before moving to Scotland. where he hasjuggled performing with a full- time teaching job. usually to the detriment of the former.

Dick Wardell

Recently. though. he has been in the studio with producer Dave Arcari. and produced a six-track cassette. Street Life Blues. which underlines his qualities as both an emotive. highly expressive singer and wonderful slide guitarist. With luck. we will hear a lot more of both. (Kenny Mathieson) I Dick Wardell (Blues Festival) Cavendish. 668 20l9. 12 Aug. 2pm. £5 (admits to full afternoon session).

TO The List 11-17 Aug 1995