wed 17/07/2024

Proms

Prom 59, The Dream of Gerontius, Clayton, Barton, Platt, LPO, Gardner review - most sure in all its ways

Asked which work suits capricious Albert Hall acoustics best, I’d say Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, partly due to the choral billows – this year there’s been an extra thrill about massed choirs – but also because the Kensington colosseum...

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Prom 57, Bach Mass in B Minor, OAE, Butt review - passion and precision

A strong team of musical chefs can blend and spice Bach’s mighty Mass in B Minor in a variety of different ways, and still prepare a feast to savour. We don’t know exactly why Bach felt compelled to bundle his decades of genius into this late...

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Prom 49, Mahler's 'Resurrection' Symphony, Connolly, Alder, LSO, Rattle review - a long and grand goodbye

Long goodbyes don’t get grander, warmer or more passionate than this. Sir Simon Rattle began his farewell season with the London Symphony Orchestra with a Proms performance of Mahler’s Second, “Resurrection” Symphony – the mighty work that has...

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Prom 43, Solomon, The English Concert, Jeannin review - a Handelian box of delights

Like many people, I grew up with cut-and-paste Handel. It could take decades before you found out where that shiny snippet of a childhood earworm truly belonged.A full-length Solomon, for instance – as delivered by The English Concert with a luxury...

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Prom 42, Lisiecki, BBC Scottish SO, Dausgaard review - concerto partnership made in heaven

Sibelius or Nielsen symphonies? Last night, with the Finn’s Seventh in the first half and the Dane’s “Inextinguishable” (No. 4) in the second, choice should have been impossible. Francesco Piemontesi or Jan Lisiecki? I’d have been equally happy with...

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Prom 40, Moore, RPO, Petrenko review - orchestral clarity, and a persuasive trombonist

It does need saying: the RPO may receive less frequent plaudits than some of their London peers, but this is a fine and wonderfully responsive orchestra with a distinctive character.The string sections have a natural opulence and warmth in their...

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Prom 39, Hartwig, BBCSO, Oramo review - bright and breezy followed by a curate's egg

Two quirky concertos – one for orchestra, though it might also be called a sinfonietta – and a big symphony: best of British but, more important, international and world class. Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra sounded glorious throughout...

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Prom 35, Wang, Oslo Philharmonic, Mäkelä review - crystalline fantasy and levitational brilliance

Klaus Mäkelä, 26-year old chief conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris, lined up for the same role at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2027, knows exactly where he’s going: a crucial asset in the idiosyncratic ebb and flow of...

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Prom 34, Soltani, BBC Philharmonic, Ollikainen review - journeys into inner worlds

Proper music tells stories just about itself, the stern pedagogues insist; it doesn’t (or anyway shouldn’t) paint descriptive pictures of places and people. Well, maybe not – but it was hard to banish all thoughts of geography, even of biography, at...

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Prom 31, Alder, Ulster Orchestra, Rustioni review - a summer night's dream

The Ulster Orchestra’s Prom finished early to accommodate a late-night concert by the esteemed Tredegar Band – but by then, we’d already enjoyed one spectacular brass showcase. Under its justly-praised chief conductor Daniele Rustioni (formerly...

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Prom 13, The Wreckers, Glyndebourne review - an overloaded ship steered with pride

Uncut, lovingly restored, and with two intervals in the antique manner, Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers invites its audience to embark on an epic voyage as well as a momentous one. This summer’s Glyndebourne Festival visit to the Proms brought us the...

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Prom 7, Dido and Aeneas, La Nuova Musica review - bold and original from the start

How do you celebrate one of epic poetry’s richest female characters, a queen renowned across the Middle East and North Africa for being as politically powerful as she was magnetic? For Nahum Tate, the librettist for Dido and Aeneas, the curious...

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