St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh
10 – 14, 16 – 17, 19 – 21, Aug, 2021
The heavens opened as I reached Edinburgh on Monday, but my spirits were not deterred. I approached the great Edinburgh Cathedral St Mary’s not far from Haymarket, for my first live Fringe excursion for two years I arrived early and in my prep I strolled the soaking grounds and entered the peaceful and magnificent building. The free, short concert between the larger than life Ivor Klayman (a native from Edinburgh) in baritone and on piano his compatriot Nancy Crook who navigated her way through Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire. We were very quiet and attentive.
It was the softest music to the ears as they played Schubert’s An die music, and Der musensohn and into Schumann with poems by Heine. It was sung in German where I could pick out things here and there but just as in operatic operates we found the gist to be in the tones of his baritone and the fleeing of the piano.
The well experienced voice had so very soothing and gentle a tone. He sang without a mic which really added a very personal touch essential in portraying the songs that were about sadness and joy and pain and happiness. Themes that still exist for us 100’s of years later. And the realised music was not lost on us, played as fresh as the date it all originally performed on.
He stood there throat and body open to the songs, a small figure with a large character next to Nancy seated and engrossed in the piano work. It really felt good to simply listen to this music in a dry and relaxed environment of a Cathedral who sees many visitors.
We can go into a musical concert like this to enjoy in whatever way you’d like. I personally closed my eyes for a bit and the music was no less potent if not more so as I sat with a clearer and clearer sense, what wonder music is. If you enjoy classical, opera, piano in any form, the human voice raised to emerge from the singer.
The Cathedral will be hosting other such performances for a few more dates. For me it was a most relaxing start to this wet but promising day. I was at ease and soothed in a no pressure gig of only the greatest quality. Thanks to St Mary’s in Edinburgh, and I hope you fill the seats.
Reviewer: Daniel Donnelly