BBC Proms 2008 tries some time travel

1972 - Stockhausen's Carré for four orchestral groups is performed twice in a late-night Promenade concert, rehearsal shown in photo above. Other Proms include the first UK performance of Elliott Carter's Concerto for Orchestra conducted by Pierre Boulez and George Crumb's Echoes of Time and River.

2008 - Proms season includes Stockhausen's Klang (13th and 15th hour), Kontakte, Stimmung and two performances of Gruppen in one concert. There is also Xenakis coupled with Vaughan Williams, and four works by Elliott Carter including two UK premieres, plus lots of Messiaen and Vaughan Williams and a programme of twentieth-century music mixed with renaissance polyphony. (Wish I had thought of that).

Are things getting better under new Proms director Roger Wright? Well, there is also music from Doctor Who as shown in the ridiculous BBC photo opportunity above, dancing round a maypole in Kensington Gardens, and musicians "popping up" on street corners, as the Times reports. But overall it's goodbye Nicholas Kenyon and hello the most interesting Proms season for years.

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petemaskreplica said…
Don't knock the Doctor Who Prom. Using the biggest success on TV for years to lure kids into a concert hall then hitting them with a Turnage UK premiere seems a pretty good (and sneaky!) plan.

And what's wrong with maypoles? Apart from it not being May, of course.
Pliable said…
Sorry PMR, but it doesn't work like that.

If you give 'em Doctor Who they want more Doctor Who, not Mark-Anthony Turnage.

The Turnage then gets axed because the research department says that is not what the audience wants.

It is known as the 'Harry Potter fallacy'. There is no market evidence of kids reading more great literature because of Harry Potter, they just want more of the same -

Great music doesn't need Doctor Who or maypoles. It just needs the BBC to have the confidence to let it speak for itself.

If you build it he (or she) will come -
Kyle L said…
Wow! Looking at that Proms schedule almost made my head explode. And I had no idea it lasted that long (more than 8 weeks!).

Anyways, I'm a fan of the Potter books and I read "great literature" (whatever that means). I suppose I don't count because I think I was already interested in literature before that. Almost seems concurrent though.

PS: I'm digging the Xenakis and Messiaen picture.

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