sat 25/03/2017

Proms

Mitsuko Uchida, Royal Festival Hall

Mitsuko Uchida specialises in elegant, if uncontroversial, interpretations of core Austro-German repertoire, yet she’s never predictable, and every performance is full of unexpected insights and welcome surprises. Mozart and Schumann stand at...

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Eyes and teeth: Conductors at the 2016 Proms

The concert photographer Chris Christodoulou has been taking pictures at the BBC Proms for 35 years. Even more than the musicians under their baton, he spends his time watching conductors like a hawk, observing their every gesture and grimace. Every...

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Last Night of the Proms, BBCSO, Oramo

I had never been to the Last Night of the Proms until last night, nor really paid much attention to it in recent years. To the extent I did, I have been resentful of the fact that to many people it represents the Proms as a whole, with its flag...

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Prom 74: Verdi Requiem, OAE, Alsop

Tradition – a choral spectacular for the penultimate night of the Proms – but with a twist – a youth choir and period instruments. Marin Alsop this evening led a spectacular Verdi Requiem, not least for the sheer scale of the chorus, the BBC Proms...

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Prom 71: Trifonov, Staatskapelle Dresden, Thielemann

Soft power in the shape of cultural ambassadors can go a long way. With a little help from its big guns in banking and industry, Germany has given this year's Proms no less than four of its major orchestras – from Leipzig, two from Berlin, and now...

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Prom 70: Staatskapelle Berlin, Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim is as distinctive as he is unpredictable. His considerable strengths – dynamism, passion, keen intellectual engagement – are balanced by some notable weaknesses – clunky tempo changes, lack of detail – but all configure differently...

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Prom 67: Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Dudamel

Gone, it seems, is the era of epic three-part Proms. Sunday afternoon's programme, partly billed as a children's hour, might have pleased pianist and pundit Stephen Hough, whose recent broadsheet plea for shorter concerts somewhat overdid the need (...

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Prom 64: Berlin Philharmonic, Rattle

What do Boulez's Éclat, for 15 instruments, and Mahler's Seventh Symphony, for over 100, have in common? Most obviously, guitar and mandolin, symbols of a wider interest in unusual sonorities. But while Boulez aims, as often, for needle point...

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Prom 61: Kamasi Washington

Californian saxophone phenomenon Kamasi Washington is never knowingly understated. He rocked up for his Proms debut on Tuesday night having led a vast musical entourage on tour across Europe all summer, and delivered an ecstatic, if occasionally...

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Prom 62: Skride, BBCSO, Young

Branding, as any marketing manager will tell you, is everything when it comes to selling, and when it comes to selling, classical music is no different from cars, cornflakes or shampoo. It explains why a Mahler orchestral song-cycle would fill the...

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Prom 60: Gerhaher, Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Jordan

There is no reason why young musicians shouldn't make something special out of mature thoughts on mortality. Nor is the Albert Hall problematic when it comes to haloing intimate Bach as finely as it does massive Bruckner. The Gustav Mahler Youth...

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Prom 48: Weilerstein, BBC Scottish SO, Pintscher

If you go down to the woods today, to be sure of a big surprise is a contradiction in terms, but this pair of sylvan adventures by Matthias Pintscher and Mendelssohn was another example of the discreetly sensitive programme-building which has...

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