Edinburgh Fest ends on damb squib

Edinburgh Fest ends on damb squib


norman lebrecht

August 30, 2021

From Hugh Kerr of Edinburgh Music Review:

Traditionally the Festival ends with a final orchestral concert, usually with a choral work backed up by the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, indeed before writing this review the end of festival concert for 2015 popped up on my Facebook Memories page. This was a significant year, Fergus Linehan’s first festival as director. After an underwhelming Final Concert the year before, Fergus staged a triumph in 2015. It was the SCO and the Festival Chorus with four fine soloists in Beethoven’s Mass; it was very good. Sadly, tonight’s final concert did not live up to that standard. Yes, I know there had been a change of conductor due to COVID restrictions, but the SCO recently had a 5-star triumph at the Proms with their principal conductor playing three Mozart symphonies. Tonight we got a substitute conductor, two short works, a Prokofiev symphony and no chorus. The whole concert had 45 minutes of music and had I paid £32 for a ticket I would have felt short changed!   …

Read on here.


  • RW2013 says:

    “had I paid £32 for a ticket I would have felt short changed!”
    But you didn’t pay, so who cares what you think?

  • Peter San Diego says:

    Those “Damb Squibs” can be pesky.

  • Freewheeler says:

    Had I paid 1000 pounds for a ticket I would have been beside myself with rage, I can tell you.

  • AKP says:

    I can’t be bothered trawling through the pages, but I suspect the only EIF concert you cover here is this one. You do like your gloom and doom Norman.

  • IC225 says:

    The whole EIF programme this year was very much reduced and it’s clear that they were operating on assumptions – wide social-distancing (and reduced ensemble sizes) on stage; mandatory hand gel for audiences; short programmes to compensate for lack of intervals – that have now been superseded elsewhere in the UK.

    It’s hardly the Festival’s fault, of course, that it is obliged to operate under the current local health and safety restrictions, but visiting the Festival this year felt a bit like being back in autumn 2020, when we were just grateful that anything was happening at all. The 2021 Fringe, too, was practically non-existent by pre-2020 standards, so the EIF is far from alone in this and it’s unreasonable to single it out for blame.