Saturday, 26 April 2014

Bizarre PR BBC Proms 2014

Press coverage of the 2014 BBC Proms has been bizarre. Is ithe BBC mindlessly self-destructive or is the media so gullible that it thinks The Pet Shop Boys are the big story? Whether the cause is internal or external, the coverage is pretty strange. (here is my piece on the2014 announcement)

The Proms are by far the biggest achievement of British broadcasting, ever. They are a huge asset - perhaps even the last vestige of Britain's credibility as a world power. So why make it look stupid? In principle, gimmicks are no big deal as long as they're done with humour, eg the Dr Who Proms, which were justifiably popular.  So why has the media fixated on Pop, Horse puppets and orchestras from abroad? Overseas orchestras have figured at the Proms so long that their absence would be  bigger cause for concern.

Roger Wright's recent Proms seasons have been so good that this year pales in comparison. The differences are more comparative than substantial. Perhaps we need a rest from the sheer euphoria of the Wagner marathon, the Barenboim showcases and choral blockbusters of recent years. Beneath the silly gimmicks like the War Horse and Ceebeebies, this year's offering aren't bad, though you need to think rather than repeat press releases.  Perhaps that's the crux of the problem. How can anyone with even a basic grasp of modern repertoire  equate Luca Francesconi with Gabriel Prokofiev? Or connect the Strauss offerings with the Elgar series? Both reprise a world that was to end in war. I don't know why the publicity for this year's  Proms is so odd, but we,  the audience, need to think for ourselves.
HERE is my summary of the BBC Proms 2014 season

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