tue 18/06/2024

BBC Symphony Chorus, Stephen Jackson, Royal Albert Hall | reviews, news & interviews

BBC Symphony Chorus, Stephen Jackson, Royal Albert Hall

BBC Symphony Chorus, Stephen Jackson, Royal Albert Hall

A weighty programme of choral music topples over under the strain

Stephen Montague's musical joke falls more than a little flat
Every year there are a couple of Proms that have a haphazard look about them, as if a fire had suddenly broken out in the BBC archives, and the programming committee grabbed whatever came to hand – a piano quartet, a couple of choral odes and a concerto for mandolin – and made for freedom. Though there had evidently once been a clear architecture to Sunday’s concert by the BBC Symphony Chorus and friends, in practice things were somewhat confused; endless personnel shiftings and a stuffed-to-bursting programme blunted the impact of music which demanded altogether simpler treatment.

Every year there are a couple of Proms that have a haphazard look about them, as if a fire had suddenly broken out in the BBC archives, and the programming committee grabbed whatever came to hand – a piano quartet, a couple of choral odes and a concerto for mandolin – and made for freedom. Though there had evidently once been a clear architecture to Sunday’s concert by the BBC Symphony Chorus and friends, in practice things were somewhat confused; endless personnel shiftings and a stuffed-to-bursting programme blunted the impact of music which demanded altogether simpler treatment.

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