wed 10/08/2022

Proms

Isserlis, LPO, Jurowski, BBC Proms review - a final hand full of aces

We finished with a pure Hollywood moment when John Gilhooly – as Chair of the Royal Philharmonic Society – popped up after the warm applause to announce that the Society had awarded its gold medal to Vladimir Jurowski. Oddly, Covid rules meant that...

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Kolesnikov, Aurora Orchestra, Collon, BBC Proms review - dazzling musicianship and insight

It’s nobody’s fault, but – try as they might – the BBC Proms can often feel rather middle-aged. Whether it’s the lumbering albatross of a building, the ushers in their dated, casino waistcoats or the tone of zealous jollity (Have fun! But silently...

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BBCNOW, Bancroft, BBC Proms review – American music from across the spectrum

In this most atypical Proms season this was actually an archetypal Proms programme: a world premiere: a neglected masterpiece and a good solid 19th-century symphony for those put off a bit by the first two. But this American-themed programme never...

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Benedetti, National Youth Orchestra, Heyward, BBC Proms review – stirring sounds of change

In a normal year, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain descends mob-handed on the Royal Albert Hall for a Prom that complements the sheer quality of the young musicians’ work with joyful, raucous, roof-raising quantity. I recall a...

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CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, BBC Proms review - expectations teased, seldom fulfilled

Nominally, this was a programme of three symphonies. The first, though, sounded like music re-cut and pasted from a very British film and the second was a suite, albeit impressively reworked, from an opera. The real deal, Brahms’s Third, is a very...

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Brauss, BBC Philharmonic, Gernon, BBC Proms review - surprises and miracles in store

Two nights after the Scottish Chamber Orchestra had brought the first great E flat major symphony to the Proms – Mozart’s 39th – a serendipitous change of programme on Tuesday gave us the second: Haydn’s “Drumroll”. An equally serendipitous change...

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Johnston, BBCNOW, Bancroft, BBC Proms - laments and luminosity

The Proms are back, even if they don’t yet feel remotely normal. With audiences timid about mass events, and about a third of the arena roped off to protect a TV camera mounted on something vaguely resembling a diplodocus, yesterday’s seemed less of...

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First Night of the Proms, Hyde, BBCSO, Stasevska review - levitational ecstasies

Did absence from Albert’s colosseum from early September 2019 until now and a roof-raising finale hoodwink many of us into thinking Dalia Stasevska’s interpretation of Sibelius’s Second Symphony among the greats? Having listened to it again on the...

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BBC Proms live online: Aurora Orchestra, Collon review - down memory lane

The Aurora Orchestra’s trademark expertise in playing symphonies from memory arguably reached new heights this week as they tackled Beethoven’s Seventh, first in performances with a live audience and then, yesterday, in an empty Royal Albert Hall...

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BBC Proms live online: Viennese Night review - sophisticated pleasures

Viennese operetta is like that other great Central European treat, goulash. It comes in many forms. In Vienna it’s coffeehouse comfort food; in Slovenia they add bacon for a smoky tang. And in the marketplaces of Transylvania it comes in bubbling...

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BBC Proms live online: Jonathan Scott review - the organ as orchestra

“Did you bring any Bach?” was not a question to ask of Jonathan Scott before he launched into his jaw-dropping Prom on the Royal Albert Hall's 1871 Henry Willis organ – the largest in the world at the time. augmented in its 2002-4 overhaul to 9,999...

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BBC Proms live online: BBC Singers, BBCSO, Oramo review – threnodies to an empty hall

So the bubble of reactionary brouhaha over the Last Night of the Proms quickly burst: there can be no argument about singing “Land of Hope and Glory” or “Rule, Britannia!” when they’re to be presented in their original Proms forms (Elgar’s Pomp and...

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