Thursday, 19 April 2012

BBC Proms 2012 - August, September

Part of the fun of the Proms is figuring out what trends prevail. Test your wits and knowledge of repertoire this year. This is part 2 of 2. For my introduction to the BBC Proms 2012 and the July highlights, please read HERE.

Lots of British music, of course, because the eyes and the ears of the world will be on London. A very British Bach Mass in B minor- Harry Bicket and the English Concert on 2/8. Several large scale youth orchestra concerts  during the Olympics period. One worth braving the crowds for will be the Bernstein Mass on 6th August with 10 - ten !- Welsh choirs and orchestras. Bernstein believed not so much in religious Mass as in mass display, so it should be sheer theatre. Cool down with Scandinavians on 9/8 - Sibelius, Grieg, Nørgård (recommended!) and Delius, an honorary Norwegian. Roderick Williams will sing Delius rare Cynara. Elgar's The Apostles makes another Proms appearance in less than 5 years. For once, not having Three Choirs at the same time means we need more Elgar in London. Jacques Imbrailo sings Jesus, which will make this a must. A Berlioz Requiem on 11/8 (Toby Spence). This isn't a religious trend as some of these composers weren't devout. Delius A Mass fof Life opens the Edinburgh Festival or it would otherwise have been an obvious choice for the Proms.

Schoenberg Gurrelieder on 12th August. The two parts of Gurrelieder differ, posing all kinds of interpretive possibilities. In many ways, it inhabits the world of Dvořák bursting out into glorious light. Not at all the stereotype image of Schoenberg. Christine Schäfer does Pierrot Lunaire on 27/8 with Martyn Brabbins. More Schoenberg before he "became scary". Ralph Vaughan Williams triple bill (Manze, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra) and a John Cage Celebration. Then BCMG does modern British composers - Knussen, Goehr and Simon Bainbridge.(more Goehr and Knussen on 25/8).

Next year will be Britten year, but this summer,Edward Gardner holds up the Britten flag with Peter Grimes. Why the BBC notes connect it to the Second World War, I don't know, as Britten didn't like war and the mob behaviour it fosters. But still, if the performance is good, as it should be with this cast. John Adams Nixon in China on 5/9 conducted by Adams himself. Kathleen Kim is singing Madam Mao. She's fesity, and a star to watch out for. The new production of Mozart the Marriage of Figaro sold out completely at Glyndebourne ages ago, so don't miss its visit to the Proms on 28/8 with Robin Ticciati conducting the OAE. The Berliner Philharmoniker and Simon Rattle are back in two programmes, one built around Lutoslawski, the other an eclectic mix of Wagner, Ligeti, Debussy and Ravel. If this will be anything like Rattle's eclectic "Second Viennese School and after" mix in previous years, this will be the one to go to. Riccardo Chailly brings the Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestra back for two concerts, one of which is all-Mendelssohn and for me, a must. Since they are not concluding a long tour this time, we should hear them in top form. Bernard Haitink conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in Bruckner 9th and in Strauss and Hadyn on 7/9. With the Berliners, the Viennese and the Leipzigers, we hardly need any other orchestras, but the St Louis Symphony will be coming too.

No comments: