Edinburgh Fringe 2015
Someone give this guy a Steinway grand. Oh, and plonk him in the drawing room of a country house with deep and comfortable arm-chairs. Then we can really chill out, or nod off, to one of his wonderfully evocative suites of music. Bliss!
“Good on ya” is a classical Australian greeting. So what better way for antipodean maestro Rich Batsford to introduce his hour of classically chilled piano than with his own composition bearing that moniker. Gentle, cascading like water tumbling gently down a waterfall, the notes just flow around you, relaxing soothing, calming.
Moving on, Batsford lets the music do the talking for him by the simple expedient of fusing three pieces together to produce ten minutes or so of mellifluous playing before we feel the need arise from the dream like state he seems to send most of us into and acknowledge the fact that the sound has stopped by applauding, gently and reverentially of course. Two of the three such suites to which we were treated were Batsford’s own composition with the third containing a selection from Ludovico Einaudi, one of the most popular piano composers in the world today.
Don’t come here expecting anything you’ll be tapping your feet to, or that you’ll necessarily leave the venue humming. What you get, though, is peerless piano playing from a man completely in touch with his instrument and his music. Such is his ability to captivate his audience that you should expect to emerge from this hour in a completely relaxed frame of mind, refreshed and ready to face the world once more.
Every once in a while, in the hurly-burly, helter-skelter that is the Fringe, you bump into an hour of entertainment that slows you down, relaxes, makes you reflect a bit on life and what’s important to you – chill out, in other words. This is it. Recommended for burned-out Fringe bunnies, everywhere.