tue 20/08/2019

BBC Proms: BBCSO, BBCSC, BBC Singers, Wigglesworth | reviews, news & interviews

BBC Proms: BBCSO, BBCSC, BBC Singers, Wigglesworth

BBC Proms: BBCSO, BBCSC, BBC Singers, Wigglesworth

A concert recreation proves authentic but far from dusty

Benjamin Britten: a musical homage pays tribute to the composer's virtuosity and sincerity

To lose one performer (to misquote Oscar Wilde) may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose three begins to look like carelessness. With last night’s Prom killing off soloists faster than you can say Sinfonia da Requiem there are few who wouldn’t have forgiven a comfortably adequate sort of Sunday evening. As it was, however, despite the loss of Christopher Maltman, John Mark Ainsley and conductor Jiří Bělohlávek, the combined BBC Symphony, Chorus and Singers under Mark Wigglesworth delivered a performance that grasped not only the casual brilliance of Benjamin Britten’s virtuoso writing, but also the rather more timid sincerity of his politically and emotionally charged music.

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