sat 24/08/2019

Proms

Prom 17: Shaham, Bavarian RSO, Nézet-Séguin review – a Montrealer brings “l’fun”

Montrealers exude a particular kind of happiness and have wonderfully snappy expressions to convey it: “Chu correc”, means ‘I’m fine’, and “C’est l’fun” means...exactly what it looks like. Yannick Nézet-Séguin is a distinctly proud Montrealer (“It’s...

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Prom 13: Des canyons aux étoiles..., BBCSO, Oramo review – cursory contemplations of earth and sky

Messiaen’s language of juxtaposition over development was always susceptible to the “greatest hits” phenomenon that began to suffuse his music with contented wonder during the 1970s. While younger colleagues were throwing toys out of the pram and...

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Prom 8, Faust, BBCSO, Eötvös review - terrific orchestral showcase

By happenstance, this Prom was fully topical, with Debussy’s languorous Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune fitting for one of the hottest days in London’s history, and the “Infernal Dance” from Stravinsky’s Firebird mirroring the infernal political...

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Prom 3, CBeebies: A Musical Trip to the Moon review - a celebration of the Apollo 11 landing

This year’s Proms for children were entitled “Off to the Moon”, and audiences were invited on a musical space voyage to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. The format was a mix of orchestral music, kids’ programmes on big screens and CBeebies...

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Prom 2, Bell, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Hrůša review – Bohemian rhapsody, and refinement

Eighty years ago this summer, Neville Chamberlain’s indifference to the peoples of Czechoslovakia – “a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing” – reaped its harvest of total war. These days, we have no excuses for not...

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Prom 1, BBCSO, Canellakis review - space-age First Night

A new commission, a Romantic tone poem and a choral spectacular – standard fare for the First Night of the Proms. Traditionally, the First Night sets out the themes for the season ahead, but the rationale behind much of this programme was paper-thin...

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Pick of the BBC Proms 2019

It's been much the same trajectory over the past few years for many of us: look through the Proms prospectus, feel a bit disappointed that there isn't more of the rich and rare, be won round when it comes to the performances. After all, you're...

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Like a baton out of hell: Conductors at the 2018 Proms

Discreetly poking his camera through one of the red curtains around the Albert Hall, chief Proms photographer Chris Christodoulou gets the action shots others would kill for. They're of orchestras, a mixed roster of soloists and what this year...

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Last Night of the Proms, Finley, Gillam, BBCSO, Davis review - a fine send-off without send-up

Outside the Royal Albert Hall blue-bereted devotees were handing out free EU flags. A great many people accepted them, while some with the Union Jack looked on askance and muttered. But inside, all differences were firmly put aside: every flag under...

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Prom 74, Theodora, Arcangelo, Cohen review - coherent and compelling Handel

This was the first complete performance of Theodora at the Proms, one of a series of Handel oratorios initiated with William Christie’s Israel in Egypt last year. Theodora is more often performed today as a staged opera, most famously in the Peter...

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Prom 72, War Requiem, RSNO, Oundjian review - the pity, and the spectacle, of war

A day after John Eliot Gardiner and wandering violist Antoine Tamestit had converted the Royal Albert Hall into a sonic map of Hector Berlioz’s Italy, conductor Peter Oundjian and his full-strength divisions transported us to the Western Front....

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Prom 71, DiDonato, Tamestit, ORR, Gardiner review - concert Berlioz as bracing theatre

How do you make your mark in a crucial last week after the Olympian spectaculars of Kirill Petrenko's Proms with the Berlin Philharmonic? Well, for a start, you stay true to recent principles by getting as many of your period-instrument Orchestre...

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