Edinburgh Festival soldiers on

Princes Street Gardens Attractions | Edinburgh Tourist

The Edinburgh International Festival—like everything else this year, largely shuttered due to COVID-19—offers a brilliant workaround: a series of specially-filmed recitals by leading soloists and chamber ensembles from around the world, beamed out from The Hub on Castlehill on the Festival’s YouTube channel, with new performances every Monday to Friday from August 10 through August 28, at 1:00 p.m. British Summer Time (check here for your local equivalent).

Clarke was a frequent musical visitor to Edinburgh, and a welcome one at that. On this pass, her Prelude, Allegro, and Pastorale, for clarinet and viola, figures as the centerpiece of a program that also includes Glazunov’s Reverie Orientale and Weber’s Clarinet Quintet. Glazunov was a somewhat improbable enthusiasm of Clarke’s composition teacher, Sir Charles Stanford, so here’s a rare opportunity to hear the two of them side by side. The concert, by members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, begins streaming on August 14.

The series as a whole looks terrific, with appearances by Angela Hewitt, Malcolm Martineau, Mark Padmore, Paul Lewis, and other notables, and a substantial array of works by women, including Nadia Boulanger, Sally Beamish, Judith Weir, Anna Meredith, Isabella Leonarda, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Pauline Viardot, and Clara Schumann. Padmore and Lewis’s recital, on August 26, pairs songs by Schumann with a little something called Dichterliebe, which seems to have been written by somebody with whom she shares a surname—husband? brother? cousin? Whatever.

A comprehensive schedule and roster are here.

[Update: The concert was absolutely glorious, including the finest performance of Prelude, Allegro, and Pastorale that you are ever likely to hear. The complete program is here and here.]

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