Peer Gynt & Glorious Percussion, Usher Hall, Edinburgh * * * *
The incidental music Edvard Grieg composed for Ibsen’s Peer Gynt speaking for itself; Sofia Gubaidulina’s visual epic concerto, Glorious Percussion, intrinsically dramatic both physically and psychologically.
The latter featured the amazing Colin Currie Group as frontline protagonists. Rarely will you see such an extravagant (and expensive) array of gongs, drums and tuned percussion at any one time. But here they were, strewn over the full breadth of the Usher Hall stage, the orchestra positioned Greek chorus-like in a tiered arc behind.
Greig’s Peer Gynt had the same fresh fascination and radiant impact, a performance embracing all its rustic charm and colourful characterisations. A shame that soprano soloist Malin Christensson sang persistently flat in both Solveig’s songs.