So, here we are, Wednesday already and the festival is as wonderful and manic as ever. As our last show today ( the eagerly await Meow Meow) doesn't start until 10.30pm I didn't programme a particularly early start. Similarly, in contrast to the mayhem all around us I thought it was time we enjoyed a little culture.
This also allowed us the opportunity to walk around and revel in the glorious surroundings of St Giles Cathedral whilst listening to some classical music. Our concert was scheduled to start after a lunchtime service ended so it was tricky to know where the churchgoers ended and the concert audience began. However, it was wonderful (and could probably only occur at the Edinburgh festival) that these 2 worlds could happily co-exist.
We were here to see Ensemble Kla_vier, 4 young South Korean pianists playing both famous classical composers and
pieces written by one of their musicians. I had forgotten what their repertoire would be so when I heard the distinctive
opening notes of Beethoven's 5th symphony played by 8 hands resounding around the cathedral it truly made the hairs
on the back of my head stand up. Oddly, it is not a work I know well in its entirety so to hear it played so vividly in a large
auditorium with stunning acoustics was absolutely magical. They then rightly followed this up with a gentle piece, Seoul
Arirang written by Ki-Su Bang,this many have been a more subtle piece but it was still beautifully played.
As well as enjoying the glorious cascading around me I rather enjoyed people-watching. Obviously, there were the
well-organised concert goers who had arrived early and grabbed good seats, people like us who had arrived for the start
time and tourists who were generally wandering around with no idea that a festival, or even an event was taking place.
However once they heard the music they literally stopped and stared. By the end no-one was leaving and the gangways
were full. What is even more amazing with the quality of music, sound and the surroundings themselves is that the show
was free. Not even a bucket to put money in, though I did buy a lovely CD.
We had only previously seen one classical concert at the fringe but that was a rather dull Bach concert a few years ago. However, the quality of this performance has persuaded us to try more classical music, starting next year.
An unexpected gem.
St Giles Cathedral (Venue 187)
Wednesday 9th August