The Edinburgh Fringe is a challenging place for the aspiring classical musician. Most are lucky to be playing to more people than they have strings. But clearly the word was out about young classical and jazz pianist Jamie Lang whose sell-out classical concert at St Andrew’s & St George’s West was a hot ticket.
Recent graduate he may be, but there is a maturity, warmth of tone and engaging flair here which flow from his jazz tradition but do not disturb the finer classical line. Three Bach openers (Bach/Busoni C major Adagio, E major Prelude & Fugue, and Bach/Siloti B minor Prelude) showed precision along with weight which let every finger contribute to the song. The internal melodies of the massive Liszt Benediction de Dieu were sung with a rare combination of firmness and tenderness. And to go straight on to a finely weighted Debussy Cathedrale Engloutie revealed stamina of mind as well as body.
This young man is at an early stage of an interesting journey but there is no doubt that he communicates the highest classical piano with elements which hint at the soundscape of Maarja Nuut and the sheer joy of Pekka Kuusisto. An Edinburgh fringe audience was in raptures. Watch out.