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Candlelight Concert | Review

By Isabelle Hampton-Zabotti and Emma Chen

Image: Emma Chen

Isabelle's review:

Rating: 4/5

On a cool Autumn evening, the gothic St Machar’s Cathedral was aglow with 2000 candles for a special concert experience. A tribute to one of the most celebrated modern pianists in the world, Ludovico Einaudi, the concert featured a selection of his most loved pieces, such as ‘Fly’, ‘Una Mattina’, and ‘Experience’. 

This Candlelight performance was one of a series designed and organised by Fever, and has featured in over 100 cities—from Tokyo to Oslo, the global phenomenon now spotlights in Aberdeen. 

Lliam Paterson, playing in his home city Aberdeen, was the solo pianist for the night, and while he faced the impossible task of emulating Einaudi’s distinctive sound, he nonetheless did a fantastic job of conveying the reflective and meditative elements of his compositions.

The night opened with ‘I Giorni’, which translates as ‘The Days’, one of Einaudi’s most-listened to pieces. This was followed by ‘Le Onde’, which was also the title track for his first major album in 1994, and would feature later with ‘I Giorni’ on his seminal compilation album, Islands: Essential Einaudi. Both pieces are relaxed and flowing, though this is in contrast to the more energetic pieces, ‘Primavera’ and ‘Experience’. While both are originally recorded with orchestral accompaniment (and I must admit, I found myself missing it), they were nonetheless exciting to hear. 

Although the pianist cannot be faulted, I found myself slightly taken out of the atmosphere by the commercial feeling the night gave. Perhaps due to the fake candles (though understandable, risking St Machar catching alight is not ideal), or the lanyard-wearing introducer, who, with a probably relatable moment of brain fog, did not remember the name of the pianist and had to read it off paper, I couldn’t help but come away feeling that while the night was enjoyable, it was not unique. Nonetheless, it was an experience I was grateful to have, and would love to see what potential tributes will appear in the future.

Image: Emma Chen

Emma's review:

Rating: 5/5

The Candlelight concert I attended, organised by Fever’s Candlelight, paid tribute to the iconic Coldplay, a performance that surely left a mark on the audience.

St Machar's Cathedral, Old Aberdeen, served as the perfect background for this musical experience. As I entered, the ethereal glow of more than 2000 flickering (fake) candles transformed the church into a warm and romantic haven. 

Solo pianist Lliam Paterson, a Scottish virtuoso, took centre stage. His fingers danced across the keys, breathing life into Coldplay's timeless repertoire, with classics like ‘The Scientist’, ‘Fix You’, and ‘Yellow’. The beginning of Paterson's performance revealed the need for a warm-up, in tune with the chilly evening air. However, as the night unfolded, his mastery became increasingly evident, and the audience erupted in applause after his conclusive rendition of the fan-favourite ‘Viva la Vida’. 

Having attended a Coldplay concert just months prior, I was initially sceptical about a piano rendition being able to capture the same emotional resonance. However, Paterson's skilful interpretation proved me wrong. Each note echoed the spirit of the original, invoking the same emotions that resonated in a crowded arena during the live band performance.

Beyond the musical prowess, what makes the Candlelight concert series truly special is its ability to make classical music accessible and captivating for diverse audiences.

It transcends the stereotype of a traditional concert, transforming it into an event for both young and seasoned listeners. The familiarity of Coldplay's hits, coupled with the intimate setting of St Machar's Cathedral, turns an evening into a celebration of music and culture—one that goes beyond the boundaries of age and background.


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