Edinburgh International Festival music review: Virgin Money Fireworks Concert at the Ross Theatre , reviewed by The Scotsman’s Carol Main
AS GOLDEN swirls and glittering starbursts lit up the sky above Edinburgh Castle on Monday evening, accompanied by their own ear-shattering bangs and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the capital’s festival season came to a resounding close for another year.
Although the orchestra, who never see the fireworks, played valiantly on the Ross Theatre stage below, the night was won by the pyrotechnic wizardry of Pyrovision. Taking the Austrian theme of the programme, some of the fireworks waltzed and polka’d their way through heavenly ballrooms, while others were redolent of Vienna’s most magnificent Imperial chandeliers.
Perhaps inevitably with an outdoor event of this scale, the music sounded oddly tinny and unbalanced, the amplification distorting the clarity of Brahms’ instrumentation in his Hungarian Dances. The more robust Copenhagen Steam Railway Galop by Lumbye, with train whistles and pistons built into the score, fared better, as did Strauss’s Thunder and Lightning Polka, where cymbal clashes matched non-stop explosions.
Synchronisation between orchestra and fireworks was near perfect, the detail of the music mirrored by precise choreography and a playful lightness of touch in the fireworks’ myriad colours and shapes.
Main image: PA
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