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BBC PROMENADE CONCERTS -British Musical Institution - Gets under way 2011


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#1 leonid17

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 02:01 AM

That extraordinary British event the BBC Promenade Concerts running from the 15th July to September 10 is underway with yesterday’s first night. My early encounter with this institution was encouraged by my trombone playing father. It was then broadcast by the old BBC Radio Third Programme. Later as a student I met lasting friends among the groups of noisy, but not uncouth young people who stood silently for several hours listening intently without any sense of tiring.

With every concert broadcast live on radio and made more popular with 25 concerts broadcast on television, it truly remains is a British institution listened to right across the UK.


For a list of concerts downloads are available at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms - as is the Daily Prom Guide giving information on a key composer and works each day.

http://www.guardian....lohlavek-review

#2 dirac

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 09:31 PM

Great links, leonid. Thank you. A tradition the BBC can be proud of.

#3 leonid17

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 02:52 AM

Great links, leonid. Thank you. A tradition the BBC can be proud of.


Thank you.

With so much dumbing down on British television, it is a breath of fresh air and a welcome event for those that cannot attend in person.

#4 Pamela Moberg

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 03:14 PM

:)


Great links, leonid. Thank you. A tradition the BBC can be proud of.


Thank you.

With so much dumbing down on British television, it is a breath of fresh air and a welcome event for those that cannot attend in person.

Feeling very nostalgic about this, thanks Leonid! When I lived in London, I lived just a few blocks away from Royal Albert Hall so I could go often. Coming out of the concert in those warm nights having taken part of those wonderful experiences - the music - the ambience - the warmth of the audience - those were memorable evenings and lovely memories
to be treasured for ever.

#5 Quiggin

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 01:11 PM

Drigo & Gergiev's Tchaikowski

from dirac's snippets:

The Telegraph

The Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre must have played Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake dozens or even hundreds of times, and there were occasions in this performance under Valery Gergiev when it sounded like it. While the orchestra clearly has the music in its blood, there was a touch of anaemia here that could have done with a shot of galvanising iron from the podium, especially in the first act.

Things did pick up after the interval, but there remained an underlying feeling that the orchestra was merely playing the ballet rather than working to recreate its atmosphere, its charm, its drama.


The Arts Desk

A fascinating experience, then. Gergiev is a strange being to head a ballet theatre: he conducts with his eyes determinedly shut, I think, stripping ballet scores of their choreographic varnish, which in most cases has left thick clots all over dansante pulses. It was a relief to hear certain waltzes handed their natural lilt and stitched naturally into their context, too fast for the iconic choreography to be performed to them in today's indulgently emphatic style (the rocking pas de trois of Act I, Odette's delicate Act II solo, Siegfried’s Act III solo).


I've listened to only first part of this performance, but the character is perhaps more Phil Spector than Yevgeny Mravinski. Rushing veils of sound and no time or space for the instruments to question and answer each other and to argue and scamper about. Valery Gergiev is not an intellectual conductor, it's all animal spirits and cumulative effect with him and sometimes it's right and sometimes not.

Available for audition in its entirety for a limited time:

Swan Lake at the Proms

#6 leonid17

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 10:43 AM

Drigo & Gergiev's Tchaikowski

from dirac's snippets:

The Telegraph

The Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre must have played Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake dozens or even hundreds of times, and there were occasions in this performance under Valery Gergiev when it sounded like it. While the orchestra clearly has the music in its blood, there was a touch of anaemia here that could have done with a shot of galvanising iron from the podium, especially in the first act.

Things did pick up after the interval, but there remained an underlying feeling that the orchestra was merely playing the ballet rather than working to recreate its atmosphere, its charm, its drama.


The Arts Desk

A fascinating experience, then. Gergiev is a strange being to head a ballet theatre: he conducts with his eyes determinedly shut, I think, stripping ballet scores of their choreographic varnish, which in most cases has left thick clots all over dansante pulses. It was a relief to hear certain waltzes handed their natural lilt and stitched naturally into their context, too fast for the iconic choreography to be performed to them in today's indulgently emphatic style (the rocking pas de trois of Act I, Odette's delicate Act II solo, Siegfried’s Act III solo).


I've listened to only first part of this performance, but the character is perhaps more Phil Spector than Yevgeny Mravinski. Rushing veils of sound and no time or space for the instruments to question and answer each other and to argue and scamper about. Valery Gergiev is not an intellectual conductor, it's all animal spirits and cumulative effect with him and sometimes it's right and sometimes not.

Available for audition in its entirety for a limited time:

Swan Lake at the Proms


What I found curious for an orchestral concert, was that he did not conduct the original score but as reported a version of the later revisions with interpolations.

I think it was a missed opportunity which would have constituted a musical coup. But then perhaps not, as Gergiev was conducting.

As the orchestra had brought the revised score version with them for the performances given two weeks earlier by the Kirov/Maryinskii ballet and it was after all it was only a performance in London.

Why did the BBC see the potential and pick up on the opportunity?

#7 Quiggin

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:25 PM

Leonid-

What I found curious for an orchestral concert, was that he did not conduct the original score but as reported a version of the later revisions with interpolations.


Yes, and I didn't realize the extent of the revisions until I read David Brown's biography of Tschaikovsky.

Where Riccardo Drigo proposes, "...I knew of (Tchaikovsky's) dissatisfaction with the instrumentation of (Swan Lake), and that he intended to take up the matter, but he never managed to do this" & "...it was my lot, like a surgeon, to perform an operation on Swan Lake, and I feared that I might not grasp the individuality of the great Russian master," Brown counters:

Riccardo Drigo ... an infinitely less great composer ... meddled in the music, deleting some numbers, truncating others, changing their order and adding three piano pieces by Tchaikovsky which he orchestrated... In much of the score Tchaikovsky had composed his music specifically for certain dramatic passages or moments, and the resiting of these is always damaging and sometimes grossly inept...


&

As music for ballet, [the original] Swan Lake was, as a revolutionary conception, second only to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring nearly forty years later. No ballet score had ever contained such rhythmically complicated music ...


Yes, a lost opportunity ... but also because, at least to my taste, Gergiev doesn't let the music open up on its own, he pushes it ahead all the time, from the outside in.

#8 Rosa

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 12:04 PM

I thought the "32 Fouettes" program with Samantha Bond, Deborah Bull and Derek Jacobi during the interval of the Swan Lake Prom performance very interesting.

#9 Jayne

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 10:26 PM

I'm posting here because I really wish BBC America would show the Proms concerts instead of marathons of Kitchen Nightmares and that Automobile show.  The latter's attractions simply baffle me.  I have no interest in automobiles except to get me from point A to point B in a reliable manner.

 

Thank goodness for YouTube!  The "Last Night of the Proms" is always patriotic tongue-in-cheek good fun.  An opera singer is always invited to perform, and a tradition has developed for the maritime tune "Rule Britannia" towards the end of the night.  The singer returns to the stage in a patriotic costume, and sings one of the many variations on the tune.  Here are some of my favorites:

 

Sarah Connelly 2009 - who specializes in the "trouser / breaches" roles, she appears in an early 19th century Lord High Admiral costume:

https://www.youtube....h?v=rB5Nbp_gmgQ

 

2011 - Susan Bullock: the Wagnerian singer appears in a self-reverential Valkeries costume, with some Wagnerian additions to the orchestration:

https://www.youtube....h?v=AESZszvre3c

 

2010:  Renee Fleming appears in a gorgeous Vivienne Westwood gown, resembling the original base relief sculptures of Brittania and she gets some wolf whistles:

https://www.youtube....h?v=Wa3EYcVxboQ

 

Joyce DiDonato is scheduled to sing the 2013 Rule Brittania on 7 September.  She's pretty humorous, so I hope she comes up with something amazing - the pressure to one-up the previous years must be tremendous!  I think she has a "leg up" because she kept her cool in 2009 during "Barber of Seville" at the Royal Opera House and kept performing.  Here is a clip of the recording (she is in a wheel chair), with her introduction:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=YINEh0ANVfI



#10 dirac

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 09:38 AM

Thanks for posting these, Jayne, and restarting this thread. Yes, it would be nice if PBS could pick up the slack in some way if BBC America can't or won't.

 

The latter's attractions simply baffle me. I have no interest in automobiles except to get me from point A to point B in a reliable manner.

 

 

Hmmm. I can only swipe a line from "When Harry Met Sally": Obviously, you've haven't driven a great car yet. smile.png



#11 Jayne

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:58 PM

au contraire!  I drove a 1964 1/2 Mustang with a V8 engine in high school (in the 1980's).  But at under 10 miles per gallon, it really wasn't efficient.  And then I left for college and my brother drove the "Pony" - right into a ditch.   The ad nauseum  nature of the BBC America car shows is what is most annoying.

 

Anyway, back to the proms, Sarah Connolly "Miss BBC Proms Final Night 2011" - wrote an interesting op-ed in the Telegraph: http://www.telegraph...-the-score.html

 

Saturday will be an auspicious day, indeed.  Last night of the Proms with Joyce DiDonato, and the announcement of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.  Will it be Tokyo? Istanbul (not Constantinople)? Madrid?  

 

I vote for Tokyo.  But my vote does not count, as I am not adequately corrupt to be elected into the IOC Congress.  Sadly I have to work on Saturday.  So I will have to wait until I get home to check youtube for the BBC Proms uploads, and Olympic host city celebration videos.  



#12 sandik

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 10:14 AM

the announcement of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.  Will it be Tokyo? Istanbul (not Constantinople)? Madrid? 

I'm hoping for Istanbul/Constantinople, if only to hear They Might Be Giants at the opening ceremonies!



#13 Jayne

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 01:19 PM

Bonzai!  Tokyo wins!  What do they win?  The chance to spend $4.5 billion dollars on big buildings with little purpose after the games end, and a lot of security.  Whoot!  

 

I wonder if the Turks would have won if they had kept the name Constantinople?  Just ask Craig Ferguson.  

 

In other news, Joyce DiDonato flubbed the first line of "Rule Brittania", and wore an understated dress (by Vivienne Westwood - understated is a relative term, it's a subtly dyed Union Jack as a long wrap over a pale gold gown).  Still, she has such an interesting voice, that I forgive her the lyrical flub.  I do think it's different - not as emotionally satisfying - when a non-commonwealth singer takes on Last Night of the Proms.   Compare this performance to Bryn Terfel (Welsh) or Joseph Calleja (Maltese).   

 

Earlier Ms DiDonato tweeted (but avoided using BBC outlets) an announcement that she dedicated "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to Russians standing up to the anti-gay laws.  There is a creaminess to her voice that is very appealing.  She is definitely an emerging star. 



#14 sandik

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 04:06 PM

Earlier Ms DiDonato tweeted (but avoided using BBC outlets) an announcement that she dedicated "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to Russians standing up to the anti-gay laws.  There is a creaminess to her voice that is very appealing.  She is definitely an emerging star. 

Thanks so much for the link -- what an amazing performance.




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