sat 04/07/2020

BBC Proms: Ott, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Oramo | reviews, news & interviews

BBC Proms: Ott, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Oramo

BBC Proms: Ott, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Oramo

Northern lights: two electric symphonies and a prodigy plays Grieg

Alice Sara Ott played Grieg’s Piano Concerto with a fresh, clean attack and a poetic ease

What a difference a change of scene makes. During Sakari Oramo’s 10 years at the helm of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra he wasn’t exactly diffident; but you felt you could invite him to tea without any crockery getting broken. Now, I’m not so sure. Last night at the Proms, conducting one of his three current babies, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, his arms spun like windmills. His torso lunged to the left, then to the right. With energetic facial expressions he made love, picked a fight, grinned like a clown - whatever was needed to propel the emotional dramas of his all-Scandinavian programme. And the orchestra seemed wired to his every move. I’ve never heard such an exciting or compelling performance of Nielsen’s Symphony No 4, The Inextinguishable – the symphony with the duelling timpani, and certainly inextinguishable on Monday night.


"Could British players and a British conductor ever penetrate and mould this symphony as convincingly as these Scandinavian forces did?" Um, Beecham back in the day, or Colin Davis now? I think the answer is "yes", that British players can.

Plus Rattle and the CBSO...Yes and yes again. It's not a Scandinavian prerogative. Great symphonies are open to all...even (tho' Brian doesn't seem to think so) Dudamel.

No coverage of Buniatishvili at Cadogan Hall, also yesterday?

We can't do everything, Viktor, but KB's two key interpretations in the Cadogan recital, breathtaking both, have been covered here - the Liszt in the Stephen Kovacevich birthday concert and the Prokofiev at Cheltenham. Rather than give you lengthy links, enter the magic words in the search facility at the top of the page and you should find them.

And you will also find a less persuaded listener to Buniatishvili's Rachmaninov 3 at Verbier this year by using the search David suggests.

Do you know what the piece was that the orchestra played as an encore right at the end? It was almost the highlight of the night!

re my last comment I've now found it - Vallflickans dans by Hugo Alfven, if anyone else is interested.

Thanks for that

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