2018 BBC Proms

Posted by: JohnK

2018 BBC Proms - 07/14/18 11:59 PM

Last night in London the 124th season of "The World's Greatest Classical Music Festival" opened. For 8 weeks many of the finest orchestras and performers appear for the daily concerts. The schedule is here . All are broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and are available on demand for 30 days on the BBC iPlayer .

As I have in past years I'll probably bring to your attention occasionally a concert I thought was especially enjoyable. For Prom 2 the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed Faure and Mozart works in the first half and after intermission(about 1:15 in) performed the highlight work of the evening, the complete score of the gorgeous music Ravel composed for Daphnis et Chloe.
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 07/15/18 03:31 PM

8 weeks, wow. Thats a long festival.
I'll check it out online this evening.
Posted by: bridgman

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 07/16/18 12:58 AM

124 seasons. Double wow. I have to start listening to this.

Thanks very much for the reminders.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 07/16/18 11:35 PM

For Prom 4 the BBC Philharmonic played a modern clarinet concerto by Lindberg which I didn't find to be very interesting in the first half. Following intermission(about 0:57) however, the massive Shostakovich 7th Symphony("Leningrad")was performed. This was written in part during the horrendous WWII siege of Leningrad, and although not said to represent specific events there, nevertheless speculations of military and political influences are abundant(discussed to a degree by a panel during the intermission). For example, the repetitive march-like theme in the first movement is likened to the advance of the German forces toward the city.

There's much of vigor and beauty that follows, and the last couple minutes of the finale(beginning about 2:07)are quite thrilling.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 07/27/18 11:09 PM

Prom 17 brought the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to London for a program that was highlighted by two quietly beautiful compositions by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

The final work in the first half(about 31:00)was his Lark Ascending, featuring beautiful solo violin passages.

The concluding work of the concert(about 1:52)was his 3rd Symphony, which despite generally peaceful passages and its title "Pastoral", in fact reflected the horror of his experiences as an ambulance driver in WWI.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 08/02/18 12:31 AM

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales returned for Prom 24 and played a fine program throughout. After opening with a brief piece that I'd never heard before, and which was pleasant enough, the glorious Dvorak Cello Concerto(my favorite cello concerto)was performed and the cellist concluded with Bloch's "Prayer" from his "Jewish Life" as an encore.

Following intermission(at about 1:28)Strauss's massive "Ein Heldenleben"(a Hero's Life)was performed. Interestingly, the general belief is that the "hero" Strauss was celebrating musically was himself.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 08/16/18 02:58 AM

Prom 44 brought The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to London for an attractive all-French program. The concert opened with Debussy's beautiful Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faune, featuring flute solos. There followed Lili Boulanger's setting of Psalm 130 for chorus and orchestra.

Following intermission Debussy's Nocturnes were played and the concert concluded with Ravel's Bolero.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 08/17/18 01:01 AM

I wait for the Lord
More than watchmen wait for the morning

Good one John
Posted by: JohnK

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 08/17/18 02:54 AM

The 100-year-old Orchestre de la Suisse Romande from Geneva made its first appearance at the Proms for Prom 45 . The first half continued this year's emphasis on French music in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Debussy's death. His music for the ballet "Jeux" opened the concert and was followed by an orchestrated version of Ravel's Violin Sonata. For an encore Massenet's Meditation to Thais closed the half.

After intermission the feature work of the concert was a complete performance of the original 1911 version of Stravinsky's ground-breaking "Petroushka". A piece by Ligeti was played as an encore to conclude.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 08/20/18 12:30 PM

Paint drying
Posted by: JohnK

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 08/29/18 11:38 PM

Prom 62 brought the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in for a concert that started with Elgar's tuneful "In the South". The first half ended with a new work by Bell titled "Aurora" which had some interesting moments featuring wordless soprano solos.

After intermission four songs by Strauss were well-sung as a prelude to the feature work: Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra", which displayed the virtuosity of various sections. A brief piece of attractive Rachmaninoff served as a closing encore.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 08/31/18 11:23 AM

Thanks as always for the information...
Posted by: JohnK

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 09/03/18 05:52 AM

The great Berlin Philharmonic visits for Prom 66 and provides a concert enjoyable throughout. The program begins with the brass-laden Prelude and atmospheric Poeme to LaPeri by Dukas. Next the Prokofiev Piano Concerto #3 was vigorously performed and the pianist added two encores by Rachmaninoff and Mozart to conclude the first half.

Following intermission the late-romantic themes(composed following the death of his daughter)of the Franz Schmidt Symphony #4 brought the evening to a pleasing conclusion.
Posted by: brwsaw

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 09/03/18 11:04 PM

Posted by: JohnK

Re: 2018 BBC Proms - 09/06/18 06:57 AM

The Berlin Philharmonic returned to perform another excellent concert in Prom 68 . For the first half two of Strauss's most popular and colorful tone poems, Don Juan and Death and Transfiguration, made up the program.

Following intermission the rhythmic themes of the Beethoven 7th Symphony were played in a manner that reminds one of the term "danceable"(to use a word that veteran members might recall from an entirely different audio context).