sun 21/04/2024

Proms

Prom 5, Power, BBC Philharmonic, Mena review - detail and breadth

I had anticipated a sweltering evening at the Albert Hall. Sadly, though, the heatwave prevented me from even getting there – buckled rails or some similar problem led to the cancellation of my train. So this review is of the Radio 3 broadcast,...

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Prom 2, Walker, Sinfonia of London, Wilson review - sensuousness and subtlety in excelsis

Had Claudio Abbado conducted the Berlin Philharmonic in a major Elgar orchestral work – and to my knowledge he never saw the light about the composer’s due place among the European greats – it might have sounded something like last night’s “Enigma”...

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Prom 1, Verdi's Requiem, BBCSO, Oramo review - introspective sorrow and consolation between the blazes

Any sensitive festival planner knows to begin the return to a new normal with something soft and elegiac – reflecting on all we’ve lost and mourned these past two years, as well as what we’re facing in the world now. Just over a fortnight ago, at...

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BBC Proms 2022 preview - big is beautiful again

Remember how, back in the summer of 2020, we all wondered if large-scale symphonies would be back in the repertoire any time soon? I pessimistically predicted a decade of slow orchestral reconstruction.Yet right at the beginning of the 2021-2 season...

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Podium odes to joy: conductors at the 2021 BBC Proms

They must have been especially overjoyed to be back in front of (or with back to the greater part of) a live audience. But inspiring musicians is what conductors are there to do on the night, and what you see in the top image is what we got from the...

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Last Night of the Proms, BBC review - a feast of unusual morsels in a traditional wrapper

In some deep imagined past, watching the Last Night of the Proms on telly was one of those national collective experiences, like watching the Morecambe and Wise Christmas special. But that was pre-indyref1, pre-Brexit, and before it became...

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St Matthew Passion, Arcangelo, Cohen, BBC Proms review – journey to the end of night

No disrespect to Sakari Oramo and his colleagues in tomorrow’s farewell jamboree, but I wonder whether this performance should have featured as the Last Night of the Proms. After all its terror, grief and sorrow, the St Matthew Passion ends with...

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Through hoops and hurdles to sheer joy: BBC Proms Director David Pickard on a season like no other

As anyone who has been trying to steer an arts organisation through the pandemic will tell you, the greatest challenge has been uncertainty; learning to live with the unknown and the unexpected. When we planned this year’s Proms, I would have said...

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Proms Festival Orchestra, Wigglesworth, BBC Proms review - brilliant work in progress, perfect Adagietto

You don’t expect a great orchestral string section to be born overnight, yet under the circumstances of the Proms Festival Orchestra’s rapid creation and only three rehearsals of three hours each, this was more than good, with detailed articulation...

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Sheku Kanneh-Mason, RLPO, Hindoyan, BBC Proms review - wood magic and swashbuckling show-offs

After 14 years as principal conductor, Vasily Petrenko has left the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in top-league shape. The players must be as thrilled as we are that his successor, Venezuelan Armenian Domingo Hindoyan, carries the flame,...

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Chiejina, Sinfonia of London, Wilson, BBC Proms review - a musical arrival for a special favourite

Turns out John Wilson was playing the long game from the start. The dynamic British conductor eased his way into Proms schedules in 2007, establishing his John Wilson Orchestra as an annual festival fixture just two years later. Film music from the...

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Tristan und Isolde, Glyndebourne, BBC Proms review - endless love, perfect pace

“Now I’ve conducted Tristan for the first time,” the 27-year-old Richard Strauss wrote from Weimar to Wagner’s widow Cosima in 1892, “and it was the most wonderful day of my life”. Robin Ticciati, over a decade older but still young in terms of his...

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