Music and Fire

Last night was the very end of the Fringe Festival here in Edinburgh. Although most shows had quieted down the week previous, last night was the grand finale, one of the items on my bucket list.

A fireworks show synchronized to music.

And as always, Edinburgh did not disappoint! So amazing!

So let’s play a game. The orchestra played five pieces from five different composers. Let’s see if you can guess the composer by the shape and color of the fireworks (might sound complicated, but as soon as I knew the composer, I couldn’t imagine any other firework display being more appropriate. They did very well in capturing the music with colors and patterns).

First.

We’ve got some strong straight lines, but over top of them some curly, crazy, exciting stuff going on. This can only be one composer, right?

If you guessed Wagner, you would be absolutely correct! The first number was Ride of the Valkyries, a classic in every sense of the word. A fantastic choice to get the blood stirring and excitement up for the rest of the show!

Second.

We’ve definitely got some layers here. The foundation – steady, uniform, consistent. The middle – flighty and sporadic. The top – majestic and commanding.

For those of you who immediately went to Beethoven, you are right on the money! This was a movement from his 8th Symphony. For anyone who didn’t know, Beethoven is my most favorite classical composers and as such, I hardly got any pictures of this one because I was too enthralled!

Third.

Relatively generic firework, with a few pompous ones coming through every now and again could only be one composer….

Mendelssohn. You were all thinking it. This is his War March of the Priests. Very stately.

Fourth.

Completely sporadic and whimsical both in color and shape.

Obviously Debussy. This is his Marche Ecossaise, based on a Scottish piping tune. Very appropriate. At first I wasn’t sure how they’d pull off a fireworks show to Debussy, since he’s probably the last composer I’d label with bang and force, but it worked, as you can clearly see above.

Fifth.

Everything grandiose clamoring all over each other.

Yep, you guessed it. Tchaikovsky. Of course. You cannot (or should not) end a fireworks – music synchronized concert with any number except the 1812 Overture. It’s wrong. Don’t do it. This was utterly brilliant and completely awe-inspiring. And my V for Vendetta fangirl went crazy, obviously.

Now for some other really cool features of the fireworks show:

Hello, there, fireworks cascading down the side of the castle. WHAT? How is this even happening? I don’t know, but here it is again, in even more awesome form:

what is happening to my life right now? how do fireworks do that? my brain is blown and melting all at the same time!

These colorful, symmetrical little bursts. Like the Skittles of fireworks!

And these bursts where the sparks would change direction on a whim! I mean, I’ve seen that before, kind of, but these felt more extreme.

Also, and sadly my camera could not capture this, the hill on which the castle stands caught fire. Apparently that happens every year.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been impressed by fireworks. Well done, Edinburgh.

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