Music review: Flercussion
Edinburgh International Festival Scotsman review: Flercussion at The Hub, reviewed by Christopher Lambton
THIS was the last of Live Music Now’s innovative concert series in the Hub Café, where we have witnessed a great diversity of youthful talent, from solo musicians to ensembles, enjoying the unique atmosphere of a short late night recital in relaxed “café style” surroundings.
For the Festival it has been a worthwhile experiment: next year the Hub may be able to silence the nightly crash of empty bottles at 9:15pm and even find away of operating the bar effectively with fewer than six staff.
The music? It has been all about repertoire. For conventional instrumental groups, such as string quartets, it has been about how to choose a short recital from an abundance of repertoire. For the oddities, such as this evening’s marimba and flute duo, the challenge has been somehow to convince the audience that the composer would have written for this combination if only he had thought about it.
Like the curate’s egg, this recital was excellent in parts. The essentially percussive sound of the marimba suited the tango-inspired melodies of Piazzolla. But Debussy arrangements fared less well: the instrument has a splendid, quirky resonance but in the absence of sustained notes the melodic line is eroded.
A waltz from Shostakovich’s Second Jazz Suite was effective and a solo flute interlude by Honneger provided a welcome moment of calm. Flercussion is fun, but they should make a popular Piazzolla CD and move on.
Originally published in The Scotsman