Wednesday, 8 April 2009

BBC Proms 2009 out now !

The programme for the 2009 BBC Proms season is just out !

It's exciting. Of course lots of Purcell, Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn etc but why not ? Immersion does work. If you do something, do it well. Besides what's coming will be top drawer :

First Night will be the usual blockbusters, but I'm looking forward to Alice Coote in Brahms Alto Rhapsody. Second night is Haydn's Creation. Paul McCreesh conducts Padmore, Rosemary Joshua etc. Third Night will be Handel's Partenope - third production this year. This time the cast includes Andreas Scholl, Inger Dam-Jensen et all conducted by Lars Ulrik Mortensen, not so well known in the UK but very good. Fifth night will be the Glyndeboune's Purcell Fairie Queen, semi-staged. If that's not enough on the first Monday you can hear 11 hours solid of early English music, Haitink's Mahler 9 and Haydn's 7 Last words. And that's just the FIRST week !

Later in the season there's Handel's Samson (Iestyn Davies, Padmore), Beethoven's Fidelio(Waltraud Meier) and in September Handel's Messiah with John Mark Ainsley, Patricia Bardon, Matthew Rose and Dominique Labelle (Northern Sinfonia, McGeghan).

Visiting bands this year include the Vienna Philharmonic (Harnoncourt AND Mehta, no less) and Leipzig Gewandhaus . Since Chailly will be conducting them in Mahler 10 (Cooke 3) this will be special. Among the singers giving recitals will be Magdalena Kozena (31/8), Susan Graham (27/7) - great French programme - Vivaca Genaux, Matthias Goerne, Joyce Di Nato, Anu Komsi.

And if that's still not enough, you can catch Stan Tracey's Trad Jazz Band (British institution) and - wait for it !!! The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain !

PLEASE SEE post on NEW MUSIC at the Proms 2009 for an in depth survey at the new music that will be heard this year. Click on labels at right (Proms 2009)

Please keep reading this blog, subscribe, follow or bookmark because the Proms are the biggest international music festival in the world. Every year I attend 10 or 12 at least and listen to nearly all. So I'll post many previews and reviews ! Join the fun !

On closer examination, I think this years' Proms are very well balanced and meaty. Quality rather than kitsch. Besides the obvious baroque theme, lots of British and French composers. The one real gap is Mendelssohn's Elijah. It's perfect with all that Handel, who inspired it. It's also the kind of thing that's heard best in places like The Royal Albert Hall. What a moissed opportunity ! But at least we'll get all the symphonies.

I will write more about some of the more unusual repertoire and less famous performers. They've got Claude Vivier, for example, whom no one writes about except on this blog !!!! And Karim Said, for example, who will be playing with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Who ? This is the young pianist of whom Barenboim said, hearing him aged 7, that he has more mature musical instinct than most others. And Barenboim was himself a child prodigy, so he knows what ultra-talented kids are like. Read the label at right about Karim. I've heard him in recital. He's good. Last year I covered 44 Proms here on this blog. This year I'll do previews too. Bookmark and subscribe to this blog – lots of interesting stuff re the Proms you won't get elsewhere. Keep reading !

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