Thursday, August 18, 2005

European youth orchestra Ravels in Walton

Last night's late Prom was just sensational. From the opening plainchant Te Deum with the singers processing through the promenaders to the closing bars of Arvo Pärt's Dopo la vittoria this was live music making of the highest order. The singing of the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir under Paul Hillier and the organ playing of Christopher Bowers-Broadbent in Pärt's wonderful Trivium underlined that Music-like-water, MP3's, CD's and all those other fantastic technologies are just adjuncts. The only way to hear great music is live, and we must fight tooth and nail to make sure that live music is available, and appreciated, by coming generations.

The Estonian choir's concert is going to be a very hard act to follow, but there are lots of tempting things in next week's Proms schedule. Early music gets another welcome hike in profile with William Christie conducting a fine cast and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Glyndebourne Chorus in Handel's Julius Caesar (Tuesday 23rd). New music highlight is the UK premiere of the Boston Symphony's commission from Sofia Gubaidulina (Saturday 20th August).

My Prom of the week though is Sir John Elliot Gardiner conducting the European Union Youth Orchestra on Wednesday 24th August. In the first half Ravel's Sheherazade is sung by my pictured artist the wonderful Argentinian soprano Bernada Fink (just to show no hard feelings after my Musicians and terrorism post). The second half is Walton's red-blooded Symphony No 1. I am really looking forward to hearing the young players getting their teeth into that gutsy work.

Mainstream Highlights:
Beethoven, Symphony No 9; Kurt Masur conducts London Philharmonic. Saturday 20th August, 19.30h
Walton Symphony No 1;
Sir John Elliot Gardiner conducts European Union Youth Orchestra. Wednesday 24th August, 19.00h
Liszt, Faust Symphony; rare occasion to hear this work. Gianandrea Noseda conducts. Friday 26th August, 19.30h

New Music:
Gubaidulina, The Light of the End;
UK premiere of work for large forces. Saturday 20th August, 19.30h
Tippett, Piano Sonata No 3;
Paul Crossley plays. Monday 22nd August, 13.00h
Hayes, Strip; world premiere from young British composer. Thursday 25th August, 19.30h

Early music:
Handel, Julius Caesar; Glyndebourne Opera and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under William Christie. Tuesday 23rd August, 18.00h.

All the concerts above are being broadcast live by BBC Radio 3, and are available as live web casts. Many of them are also available for seven days after broadcast on the BBC Listen Again service but some aren’t. Check BBC listings for which are available via ‘listen again’ but as a rule of thumb high profile orchestras and artists are usually too expensive for the BBC to buy repeat broadcast rights.

This is a personal, and fallible, selection of the week's concerts. The full weeks programmes are available through this link. Concerts start dates are given in British Summer Time using 24 hour clock (19.00h = 7.00pm) Convert these timings to your local time zone using this link

The Guardian are reviewing every Prom this season. Access their reviews via this link.

This preview of the following week's Proms appears every week on an overgrown path. If you want to share an upcoming concert with a friend email the post to them using the envelope icon at the foot of the post.

If you enjoyed this post follow an overgrown path to New music feast at BBC Proms
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5 comments:

Pliable said...

It is worth adding how wonderful the Royal Albert Hall Organ sounded last night after its recent comprehensive rebuild.

We are very fortunate in London to have refurbishment programmes for two of our wonderful organs. With the Albert Hall instrument back in full voice we now have the Royal Festival Hall organ undergoing a similar revamp.

Garth Trinkl said...

pliable, I can't remember. Did Sofia Gubaidulina's profound and "terrifying" (in the words of L.A. Times music critic Mark Swed)
Saint John Passion, for four soloists, double chorus, orchestra, six percussionists, and ORGAN, ever receive a London performance following upon its 2000 Stuttgart world premiere? (If Antal Dorati or Mstislav Rostropovich were still the Music Directors of the National Symphony Orchestra, in Washington, D.C., I believe that the work might have been performed in North America by now, for the Kennedy Center has a fine organ -- as does the new Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, and several other North American halls.)

And many congratulations on the first anniversary of your superb site. It is my loss that I only started reading it three months ago or so. Thanks for the further reading links which are helping me slowly read your archive of postings.

Pliable said...

Garth, yes indeed. Valery Gergiev and the Kirov performed Gubaidulina's St John Passion as part of a marathon two concert day in the 2002 Proms season. The Passion was in the afternoon, and the dessert course in the evening consisted of Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto and Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony. Quite a meal!

By the wonders of the Guardian's superb online review archive you can read more about that epic concert through this link

For those that can receive BBC2 TV note that the whole of the Prom on 20th August, including the Gubaidulina premiere, is being broadcast live starting at 17.30h BST.

I'm glad you find the 'if you like this post you'll like.....' feature useful. As I'm currently getting on for 500 new readers every day it seemed a good way of giving exposure to some of the archived posts. I have had complaints though that following the links is like a maze. Some people have said they've got completely lost within the blog, and the only way out was to close it and start again! Truly an overgrown path.

Garth Trinkl said...

thanks very much, pliable. The Guardian review of the Kirov (Mariinsky) residency at the 2002 Proms, which you kindly linked, is very interesting.
I hadn't been aware that Ms Gubaidulina had composed a 2002 sequel to her 2000 St John Passion -- which she entitled St John Easter, and which is performed together with the St John Passion. (I had been aware that the earlier work had set texts from both St John the Apostle, as well as St John the Divine -- author of the Book of Revelations. I also recall someone, I wish I could recall who, calling Ms Gubaidulina's libretto for the earlier St John Passion a brilliant work.)

While the Guardian 2002 review isn't completely complimentary regarding the 2002 sequel, I think that it can be recognized that the 2000 Passion is a superb accomplishment by a Tatar (and Russian) artist using Orthodox chant materials, and working from a revived religious tradition which had previously frowned on the use of Western musical instruments -- or instruments of any sort -- in Slavonic Orthodox services. (Earlier, Artyomov's Latin Requiem setting, in 1984, was also a trailblazing work for a Russian composer. I don't believe that the Artymov Requiem has been performed in London, while I do know that Rostropovich premiered the final part of Artyomov's "Symphony of the Way" in London, in the 1990s. Rostropovich wanted to conduct the National Symphony Orchestra, of Washington, in the North American premiere of the Artyomov Requiem, to be held at Washington's National Cathedral, but the NSO administration vetoed the idea because of the rehearsal and other costs involved.)[The opening part of Artyomov's tetralogy "Symphony of the Way" is available on an Olympic Recording CD, from England.]

See! Others can play "On an overgrown path" too!!

Rod... said...

Hi Pliable - just spent a very enjoyable and sublime morning listening to the Royal Estonian Choir replayed concert via Radio Three which I chased up after a brief scan through your blog earlier. This is also a cunning way to stay on topic - and thank you both for your kind (and flattering!) comments on my nascent attempts at blogging - and the fun I'm having discovering new areas of the internet via your fascinating paths.