THE SCOTSMAN Tschaikowsky (and other Russians)
A JOURNEY into passionate musicology essayed from a unique perspective, Mark Nadler's one-man cabaret show brims with energy and an infectious lust for knowledge about his subject. Taking as his starting point the Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin-composed song which gives the show its title, a number from the musical Lady in the Dark which simply names 50 different Russian composers in its lyrics, Nadler sets out to explain how he remembers the words when he performs it.
What this entails is a biographical breakdown of the more interesting points of each composer's life, accompanied by snippets of their work played by Nadler on his grand piano. What sounds like a dry and scholarly exercise is anything but, as our host rattles through these tales with a demented vigour and an impressive musical ability of his own.
Noting the personal foibles of some composers - Scriabin's synesthesia, for example, or the fact that Mussorgsky sounded particularly sober for such a famed drinker - and historical events such as Stalin's forbidding of dissonance in music (leading the more adventurous composers to flee Russia and work abroad), Nadler's show is excitably camp yet rich in amusing detail. After all, as he notes, those artists who survive the generations are either singularly talented, or great for gossip.
Tschaikowsky (And Other Russians)
Show tunes with stand-up
Armed with a truckload of sheet music, some forgotten musical gems and a biting Jewish wit, Mark Nadler is like a male Barbra Streisand on speed. Opening with the Kurt Weill/Ira Gershwin song ‘Tschaikowsky’, featuring the unpronounceable names of 49 Russian composers, Nadler moves his lips at breakneck speed. Then, remarkably, he dissects the song, introducing us to each and every one of them.
Which sounds as dry as an old twig, but in actuality is fun all the way. Nadler’s love and loathing for each composer is demonstrated through witty anecdotes and musical illustrations. Interspersing the history lesson with little known songs from the likes of Rogers and Hart, Sondheim and Gershwin, Nadler proves himself to be not just an accomplished singer and musician, but a natural comedian. (Kelly Apter)
Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 26 Aug, 5pm, £12 (£10).
Tschaikowsky (and other Russians)
Tschaikowsky (And Other Russians)
If you are looking for a show that is a little more refined than usual Fringe performances, then look no further. A perfect mix between education and comedy, this one-man show revolves around a tongue-twisting list of forty-eight Russian composers, which Mark Naddler deconstructs and analyses to a standard that even the finest of historians would envy. An extremely talented pianist to boot, Naddler manages to play classical masterpieces such as '
www. one4review .com
Tschaikowsky (and other Russians)
Such energy! Such Passion! American Mark Nadler’s performance is utterly captivating. It is also highly idiosyncratic. Yes, he expertly provides piano snippets of Russian composers famous and not so famous. He does this with wit and panache.
There is more to his act than simply cataloguing composers. He links Russian melodies with the American Broadway show tradition especially in the music of Gershwin. He has a strong and dramatic singing voice.
He is also something of a showman, with a bit of soft shoe shuffle whilst seated at the piano, and timing the precise moment to play Scriabin’s mystic chord. There are moments of pathos when he refers to the harm that Stalin wreaked on a whole generation of composers because music had to fit ideological requirements.
This is no serious, academic exposition but a joyous celebration of music from a complete entertainer. ****
Tchaikowsky and other Russians with Mark Nadler
Liberace with class and without the vulgarity of the fur! Frankie says Liberace on acid. Mark Nadler is a Full Service Entertainer, Actor, Singer, Pianist, Tap Dancer and Mind Reader, who first took to the stage as a child. A well established American showman who has just finished performing at the famous Carnegie Hall. In my opinion, he is what The Edinburgh Fringe is all about, finding a rare diamond in amongst a sea of semi-precious stones! Mark is worthy of The Official International Edinburgh Festival, as opposed to The Fringe, and should be invited to perform in future. He displays his outstanding memory, when delivering an unforgettable performance at break-neck-speed; he is truly a Pianist extraordinaire with flair. A master tutor, who takes us on a classical journey, with appropriate American popular songs which pit perfectly into his story. Mark takes the time to assist the audience with their memorising and learning the 48 Composers mentioned in the title song �Tchaikowsky and Other Russians�, while performing pieces of their work! We are taken through a colourful history, in snippets, of each Composer�s life, with lively humour and emotion. He even mentions the historically documented disgrace of Stalin�s artistic suppression of Composers which caused many to leave their homeland so they could pursue their passion - making history as they developed classical music. Mark tap dances while acting playing the piano and singing! I have seen hundreds of pianists but I have never seen any of this calibre, nor have I ever seen anyone �Ride a Piano� like Mark. Mark the piano and the stage merge into one being it�s truly transfixing. Atmospheric; passionate; emotional; enthusiastic; energetic, artistic and very memorable are just a few of the thoughts and emotions I left with after my second viewing. A very well researched, rehearsed, and pronounced show. �The Ugly Duckling� sung, interpreted and acted with great skill and a genuine passion and emotion� it brings a tear to the eye� His delivery of �I can�t get started� is astounding, to hear a vocalist of this calibre is a rare thing on The Fringe, jaw dropping�. �Homeword/Manhattan Blue� is sung full of depth, compassion, emotion delivered by one of the best trained vocalists I have ever heard; he puts me in mind of the lovely Holly Penfield, they are similarly talented vocally, and are as delightfully manic as each other� this acts as a magnet to me as they are both extremely interesting and very very different, does Hollywood come to mind? This show is a must see for all, especially music lovers, pianists, music teachers and students, and all entertainers who will all learn a great deal from Mark Nadler. As one of the many people who are not classically literate I still found this show very interesting and educational at the same time as entertaining and funny, a show for all. A great Fringe night out begins with Mark Nadler in Tchaikowsky and Other Russians!
TSCHAIKOWSKY AND OTHER RUSSIANS