mon 19/08/2019

BBC Proms: Ax, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Haitink | reviews, news & interviews

BBC Proms: Ax, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Haitink

BBC Proms: Ax, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Haitink

Refined musicians who put beauty and fellowship before dangerousness

Ax and Haitink: they have been collaborating on Brahms since 1997Ax © J Henry Fair

"O, reason not the need!” cries Shakespeare’s King Lear, insisting on certain unquestioned rights. The phrase came to me listening to Bernard Haitink conducting Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto and Fourth Symphony last night. The 82-year-old Haitink does not question the need for this music - and I’m not sure that’s entirely right. I want the imperative there, I want to feel the urge to be born in those musical paragraphs that Brahms wrote with such generous largesse. To reason the need gives the music its birth again.


It's important to take the Proms to all viewers in the land on TV, as they've all contributed to them financially, but I concur regarding the intrusiveness of the camera work. My heart always sinks a little when I enter the arena to see the cameras in place and the lights up super high. And all the faffing in the TV commentary box as a piece is about to end is flippin unbelievable.

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