wed 08/12/2021

Proms

LSO, Rattle, BBC Proms review - dazzling Stravinsky showcase

Simon Rattle and the LSO marked the 50th anniversary of Stravinsky’s death with a concert of three “symphonies”. In fact, the programme had little to say about Stravinsky’s relationship with symphonic form: his early E flat Symphony was omitted, and...

Read more...

First Person: theartsdesk writer Bernard Hughes on composing for the BBC Proms

For many years, first as a punter then latterly as a reviewer, I have sat in the section of the Royal Albert Hall stalls near stage right, under the BBC Radio broadcast box, knowing that that is where they sit the composers being premiered at the...

Read more...

Esfahani, Gibson, Manchester Collective, BBC Proms review – variety, but not always in proportion

I was looking forward to this Prom by the Manchester Collective, an exciting young group founded in 2016, which has quickly established a reputation for innovative presentation of contemporary repertoire. And while I found the playing excellent,...

Read more...

A Night at the Opera, BBC Philharmonic, Glassberg, BBC Proms review - six of the best

This delectable Prom hid behind the title "To Soothe the Aching Heart" the failsafe concept of a programme of the world’s favourite opera extracts, plus some. Take six British opera stars – three sopranos, two tenors and a mezzo – and assign them...

Read more...

Ólafsson, Philharmonia, Järvi, BBC Proms review - a ravishing Proms debut

What does it mean to be Classical? It’s the question award-winning Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has consistently asked in a career that has collided music from Bach to Debussy, presenting them as part of a single conversation and continuum....

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...

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...

Read more...
Subscribe to Proms