tue 03/08/2021

Royal Albert Hall

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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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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British Ballet Charity Gala, Royal Albert Hall review - a celebration of sorts

The Royal Albert Hall – 150 years old this year and with a commemorative £5 coin to prove it – is a great  space for many kinds of spectacle but has done few favours for ballet. I make an exception for Derek Deane’s in-the-round Swan Lake, if...

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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: Grosvenor, Evans, Philharmonia, Järvi review – energy and sparkle

Unlike the other two Proms I’ve reviewed this season, last night’s by the Philharmonia did not have any bells and whistles when it came to the staging, nor did it explore the edges of the repertoire. But the repertoire choices were good: progressing...

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BBC Proms live online: Anoushka Shankar/Laura Marling - scintillating sitar and fortified folk

In what would have been the year her father, the legendary sitar player Ravi Shankar turned 100, sitarist and composer Anoushka Shankar pays tribute to him and builds on his legacy in this online Prom. The pre-recorded first half saw Shankar...

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BBC Proms live online: Benedetti, OAE, Cohen review – double helpings of Baroque zest

In a year of absences and separations, here was another one we had to bear. Built around a programme of Baroque double concertos, last night’s Prom should have brought Nicola Benedetti and Alina Ibragimova together in a violin super-duo that...

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BBC Proms live online: London Sinfonietta, Paterson review – varied perspectives on city life

In reviewing Sunday night’s LSO Prom I was impressed by the innovative and exciting programming and that was also a hallmark of Tuesday’s Prom, although this was more true to form for the London Sinfonietta. Since its inception the Sinfonietta has...

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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: Uchida, LSO, Rattle review – eclectic concert makes good TV

Sunday night’s Prom by the London Symphony Orchestra was Simon Rattle’s 75th and surely his strangest. But, in his best style, it was eclectically programmed, balancing novelty with tradition, responded imaginatively to the restrictions in place,...

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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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