tue 26/10/2021

Proms

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...

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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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Aimard, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Benjamin, BBC Proms review - a revealing composer portrait

Composer George Benjamin has dazzling talent, but he is difficult to showcase. He is not a naturally extrovert type, and most of his projects take years to formulate, and only come about through collaboration with close and trusted performers. But...

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Kopatchinskaja, BBCSSO, Volkov, BBC Proms Review - the spirit of the dance in Bartók

Violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja has a joyous hunger for communication through music. She sometimes seems to dance through it. This was at its most vivid when she lunged towards BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra leader Laura Samuel to invite her to...

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Crowe, BBCSSO, Volkov, BBC Proms review - shining light on history and heritage

Minds in Flux is the largest of this season’s Proms commissions, and last night it afforded a rare chance for UK audiences to hear work of George Lewis outside the often insular new-music and avant-garde improvisation circuits. As a trombonist-...

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