fri 22/10/2021

Royal Albert Hall

Prom 60: Ax, Vienna Philharmonic, Haitink review - moving mountains at 90

His movements are minimal (perhaps they always were). A more intense flick of the baton, a sudden wider sweep of the expressive left hand, can help quicken a tempo, draw extra firepower from the players, but Bernard Haitink's conducting is still the...

Read more...

Prom 3: Faust, COE, Haitink - Europeans tread air under 88-year-old master

The message must be getting through. On the First Night of the Proms, Igor Levit played as encore Liszt's transcription of the great Beethoven melody appropriated as the European Anthem; in Prom 2, Daniel Barenboim unleashed his Staatskapelle Berlin...

Read more...

Prom 18: Mahler's Third Symphony, LSO, Haitink

Few 87-year-olds would have the stamina to conduct over 100 minutes of Mahler. Bernard Haitink, though, has always kept a steady, unruffled hand on the interpretative tiller, and if his way with the longest of all the symphonies, the Third, hasn't...

Read more...

Patti Smith, Royal Albert Hall review - a wild ride from a musical legend

Patti Smith has been making rabble rousing punk rock for half a century. She’s spent a lifetime on the road with rock stars and poets, surfing the charts, bringing music and wisdom to the people in myriad ways from beatnik to mainstream and now here...

Read more...

Kanneh-Mason, Terfel, RPO, Philharmonia Chorus, Petrenko, RAH review - an anniversary feast

75 years after Sir Thomas Beecham founded the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, it’s sobering to reflect that without this one person’s hubris and sheer cantankerousness, British musical life would be a whole lot worse off. Beecham, who fortuitously...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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,...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

Hallenberg, Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists, Gardiner, BBC Proms review - a vindication of voices

Choral singers have suffered more than most from erratic and irrational Covid prohibitions while riskier mass pursuits have gone ahead. So when one of the world’s great choirs returned to the Proms with the conductor who has guided them for over...

Read more...
Subscribe to Royal Albert Hall