BBC SSO / Glagolitic Mass

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review (music): BBC SSO / Glagolitic Mass at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. Reviewed by Ken Walton Jonathan Mills’ final music programme as Festival director was marked by a gesture of indulgence: the programming, alongside Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass, of his own oratorio Sandakan Threnody, a work written in response to his father’s …

International Festival September 1, 2014

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra: Mahler 6

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review (music): Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra: Mahler 6 at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. Reviewed by Ken Walton There wasn’t much Mahler at this year’s Festival, but this electrifying performance of the Sixth Symphony by the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday under its Canadian music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin more than made up for …

International Festival September 1, 2014

Daniil Trifonov

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review (music): Daniil Trifonov at Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh. Reviewed by Ken Walton IF I COULD, I would give Daniil Trifonov’s piano recital at the Queen’s Hall on Saturday 6 stars. It was simply that mind-blowing. This extraordinary 23-year-old – already a gold winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition – combines deep and …

International Festival September 1, 2014

Delusion Of The Fury

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review (theatre): Delusion Of The Fury at the King’s Theatre. Reviewed by Joyce McMillan The stage has an extraordinary look, part set-up for a reunion of some ageing rock super-group, part installation sculpture, part archetypal mountain landscape, in Arizona or New Mexico; a river runs through it, rippling down to a …

Edinburgh Festival Fireworks 2014 – pictures and video

The traditional Sunday night fireworks provided the finale for a record-breaking Edinburgh International Festival tonight – scroll down for more pictures and video. The Virgin Money Fireworks Concert included a 16-minute sequence as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture brought proceedings to a close. Ticket sales for the festival broke through the £3 million barrier as outgoing chief …

EIF Blog International Festival September 1, 2014

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review (music): Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. Reviewed by Susan Nickalls BRAHMS, Strauss, and Wolfgang Rihm might all be German composers but the tenuous musical links between them made for a mixed bag of a programme by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Despite Mariss Janson’s energetic exhortations on the …

International Festival August 31, 2014

Ubu And The Truth Commission

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review (theatre): Ubu And The Truth Commission at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh. Reviewed by Joyce McMillan It may be a masterpiece of absurdist drama, but Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi, first seen in Paris in 1896, is never an easy show to present. Its central image – of the relentlessly boorish tyrant …

Les Troyens

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review (opera): Les Troyens at Edinburgh Festival Theatre. Reviewed by Ken Walton There was huge anticipation surrounding the Mariinsky Opera’s staging of Berlioz’s Les Troyens, which opened its Festival run on Thursday, not least because it is the first staged production in Scotland for almost 25 years of this epic two-part …

Pavel Haas Quartet

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review (music): Pavel Haas Quartet at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh. Reviewed by Carol Main After being given an intriguing glimpse of the music of Erwin Schulhoff earlier in the week, in a Queen’s Hall programme structured around music associated with Terezin in the latter years of the Second World War, it …

International Festival August 29, 2014

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Mariss Jansons

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review (music): Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra / Mariss Jansons at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. Reviewed by Ken Walton The chemistry between Mariss Jansons, a remarkable musician and conductor, and the superstar players of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is one of considerable mutual respect and understanding. The first thing that grabs you – …

International Festival August 29, 2014

Paco Peña Flamenco Company: Patrias

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review (dance): Paco Peña Flamenco Company: Patrias at the Edinburgh Playhouse. Reviewed by Kelly Apter [Patrias is a tribute to Lorca and the dead of the Spanish Civil War – picture: Colin Hattersley] It’s hard to imagine Paco Peña playing a single note that wasn’t laced with passion, but new work …

Turin Opera: William Tell

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review (opera): Kronos Quartet at the Usher Hall. Reviewed by David Kettle [Conductor Gianandrea Noseda takes centre stage in Turin Opera’s performance of Rossini’s William Tell at the Usher Hall Picture: Lorenzo Di Nozzi0] One  of the often-quoted benefits of opera in the concert hall – as opposed to the opera house …

Stéphane Degout/Simon Lepper

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review (music): Stéphane Degout/Simon Lepper at the Queen’s Hall. Reviewed by Carol Main Any initial concerns as to whether French baritone Stéphane Degout would have the size of voice to fill the Queen’s Hall were fairly quickly dispelled as he got into the stride of his recital there yesterday morning. In …

5 best places to watch the Edinburgh Festival Fireworks

Marking the end of festival season with a spectacular bang is a long-held tradition in Edinburgh and 2014 is no different. But where is the best vantage point to view what’s billed as  as ‘the world’s biggest fireworks concert’? See our top five viewing locations below. While everyone will differ on whether opera, comedy or cabaret provide the best …

András Schiff

Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review (music): András Schiff at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. Reviewed by Ken Walton [András Schiff’s programme appealed equally to the heart and the head of his Usher Hall audience] The atmosphere in a packed Usher Hall on Monday night for pianist András Schiff’s solo recital was one of intense concentration and …

International Festival August 27, 2014
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