Music: What's a Festival For?

Edinburgh's International Festival of Music and Drama was three years old, and finally big enough to be spanked. Last week, with this season's final performances, the critics' hairbrushes were flying.

Rather timidly, the Observer's Drama Critic Ivor Brown complained that the festival "is finding problems in its own success." There was, he thought, too much cultural plum pudding crammed into three weeks, leaving some customers with a stomachache.

The New Statesman and Nation's Desmond Shawe-Taylor wore a this-hurts-me-more-than-you look: "The grumble that events are too many and the day too crowded is merely frivolous...

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