Edinburgh International Festival Musical Revues: The Cinematic Orchestra | Philadelphia Orchestra


With its plush, fold-down balcony seats and Art Deco interior ornate decor, the Leith Theater could very well be mistaken for a 1970s cinema, so it was the perfect location for the contemporary jazz and downtempo electro band , the Cinematic Orchestra, bring a new musical flavor to this year’s Edinburgh International Festival.

The film orchestra

Led by bandleader Jason Swinscoe on piano and keyboards, the quartet of musicians played drums, double bass and other keyboards, their sound occupying a happy medium between ambient electronics and live jazz performances. in a bad mood. It was a nodding odyssey, not a set to get physically excited enough to dance to, but certainly one that had a startling effect on the imagination.

The liveliness of the show was added by the occasional appearance of longtime Cinematic Orchestra vocalist Heidi Vogel to add a rich, smoky jazz voice to their sound. Soft Course and the rhythm of the piano children’s songto their mysterious and dragging remix of the 1929 Russian film by Dziga Vertov Man with a movie camera and the lush, uplifting all you giveit was a restorative spectacle for the end of a long festival. David Pollock

Philadelphia Orchestra ****

The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin are enthusiastic champions of the works of Florence Price, and their performances help fill a gaping gap in the repertoire for African-American female composers.

The price is 1932 Symphony No. 1 in E minor is largely of classical format with the most successful movements those where it lets African-American musical styles dominate. Great has the captivating rhythm of a Negro spiritual while Juba’s dance is a riot of exuberant, offbeat rhythms complemented by bongo drums.

Almost a century later, Gabriela Lena Frank has a similar new approach to fusing different musical traditions. She has beautifully evoked South American folk music in selections from Leyendas: an Andean walk for string orchestra which opened the concert.

In between, brilliant Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili maintained a steady, virtuosic course through Szymanowski’s whims. Violin Concerto No. 1. It begins with a tribute to French Impressionism creating shimmering halos of percussion around its ethereal violin harmonics, but by the sweeping finale the horns sounded distinctly Wagnerian.

Batiashvili swung effortlessly between whispered melodies and strident double stops in this gorgeous up-close reading with an exceptionally in-form orchestra accompanying her every step of the way. Susan Nickalls

Darcy J. Skinner