festival music


Haydn String Quartets

It’s not going too tar to suggest that Haydn made the string quartet as we know it. Working tor the most part at the Austro-llungarian court of Prince Eszterhazy from the 1760s onwards, he wrote over 80 of them, creating an index of possibilities for this most trenchant of musical torms (two violins, viola and cello) which spurred on the efforts of Mozart, Beethoven and beyond. There’s pretty much a llaydn quartet for all occasions, for they can be by turns melodic, lyrical, sinewy, witty and galante. lnexhaustibly inventive, their perfectly crafted structures and balance make them an oasis of musical calm in

anyone’s listening experience, something that’s reflected in Festival director Brian McMaster’s spot-on programming idea ot spanning 46 of ‘Papa’ llaydn’s maior quartets in an eighteen-concert series at St Cuthbert’s Church.

Fine ensembles are taking part, with three concerts from the prize-winning Vellinger Quartet, two from the Orlando, and four from the Emperor; but the hottest tickets are the visceral drive of Manchester-based The lindsays (28-31 Aug) and the warmth and sheer class of Viennese period instrument specialists, the Quatuor Mosa'iques (17, 19—22 Aug), the latter performing the Op 20, 33 and 77 pieces of which they’ve already made classic recordings. As Benton probably wouldn’t say: ‘Choose lite. Choose a llaydn string quartet’. (Trevor Johnston) llaydn String Quartets (Festival) St Cuthbert’s Church, lothian Road, 225 5756. until 31 Aug, 6pm. £10.

m Battlefield Band

‘We’re going to do a live album over three nights, with a different guest artist for each show, and Eric Bigler is coming over for all three nights.’ Battlefield Band’s young fiddler John McCusker is more than a touch enthusiastic about their forthcoming series of Queen’s llall concerts.

Bigler is the Calitornian piper responsible for the uillean pipes on Braveheart, and once stepped in to till lain MacDonald’s shoes when the Battlefield’s piper damaged his lingers.

Irish tlute master Seamus Tansey is

life? 1 " i 5.

Flddler on the loose: John McCusker

here recording an album tor the Band’s Temple label, and joins the boys tor the opening night. llarpist and clarsair Alison Kinnaird takes the second evening, and the final night unites the band with McCusker’s pals in Glasgow’s Radio Sweethearts, rising stars of the country scene.

‘Some ol them are from my old band Parcel 0’ Rogues and others are from the BMX Bandits. I play with them when I can, when I’m back from touring,’ says McCusker, ‘and I’m on the new album, which we’ve just heard has been signed to a New Orleans label. (llorman Chalmers)

Battlefield Band (Fringe) 0ueen ’s llall ( Venue 72) 668 2019, 16-18 Aug, 7.30pm, £8.50 (£6.50).


0131 0 667 0 82M


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