Edinburgh 2013: Rick Wakeman - An expressive evening from a musical demigod
Monday 12 August 2013
Midway through this set of anecdotes, reminiscences and often breathtaking recitals upon the piano, the former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman describes his “Countdown ladies” to us. These are the elderly, grey-haired women who enjoyed his wit when he appeared on the game show and have no idea that he also plays piano.
“Have you made many records?” one of them enquires politely. Well over a hundred. “And have you sold them all?”
This was a show designed to capture both audiences: those who enjoy his warm, eloquent and sometimes painfully blunt way with a tale and those for whom this 64-year-old with lengthy blond hair and a flowing black cape is a musical demigod for his work with prog adventurers Yes in the ‘70s. The latter group would have been pleased by an interlude into “And You and I” and “Wondrous Stories” midway through, although – and it might be sacrilegious to say – these and “The Dance of a Thousand Lights” from his 1999 album Return to the Centre of the Earth are the most dated and show-offy of the songs played here.
Far more satisfyingly demonstrative of Wakeman’s expressive way with a piano were the curios: an instrumental version of his arrangement for Cat Stevens’ “Morning Has Broken” and the story of how he stretched it out from a forty-second hymn; the Nursery Rhyme Concerto, which married child’s melodies to the styles of the greats (including Les Dawson, “because he’s the only English composer I like”) and a mighty closing version of “Eleanor Rigby” played in the style of Rachmaninoff.
Until Sunday 18 August (0131 623 3030)
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 2 Louis van Gaal gets tough with Manchester United players, with Darren Fletcher and Luke Shaw berated in public and Phil Jones left looking bemused
- 3 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 4 Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?
Hercules, review: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson takes centre stage in preposterous film
Fight Club 2: Chuck Palahniuk sequel is a 'meta-fictional comment on the cultural response to the original'
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia