Sunday, 26 June 2011

Manchester, Classical Music and British Composers – Part One the ‘Proms’ (26th June to 31st July)

I was in Manchester a few days ago and visited the Bridgewater Hall. Unfortunately, there was a ‘special’ event on, so I was duly (very politely) ejected. However, the lady on the door did manage to present me with three leaflets: - ‘The Hallé Promenade Concerts June-July 2011’, ‘The Bridgewater Hall International Concert Series 11/12’ and the ‘Summer 2011’ events brochure. Interesting reading? Well, from a general musical perceptive, yes. However, from the point of view of British Music it is very much a washout –with a few notable exceptions.
For my first post on this particular ‘whinge’ I will look at the short Manchester Promenade Concert series.
Let’s not include Handel as an ‘Englishman’ – so the ‘first night’ starts off with Parry’s ‘I was glad’ and Michael Tippett’s ‘Deep River’, extracted from A Child of our time. The second concert is devoid of British music, although it is a pleasant programme of Prokofiev, Saint-Saëns and Ravel. The ‘Movie Night’ event has, predictably, a couple of items by John Williams (but then he is an American) and an arrangement of Hard Day’s Night/Help by a Lennon/McCartney.
The Last Night has (predictably) the London copy-cat Henry Wood Fantasia on British Sea Songs, Thomas Arne’s ‘Rule Britannia!’ (not so easy these days without any aircraft carriers!) “Parry orch. Elgar” ‘Jerusalem’ and Elgar’s P&C No.1. What Ho!

Not a single British Symphony, Suite, Concerto, Overture or Tone Poem!
My next post on Manchester musical life will look at ‘The Bridgewater Summer Season’.

1 comment:

John France said...

Pam Bleveins has written to me:-

I just sent a comment on your most recent blog but I'm not sure
that it connected or I might have sent it twice It is about a remarkable performance of the Engima Variations here where
British music seems to be getting a bit more attention than it is in
some venues there! The performance will be broadcast on WCQS radio this afternoon at 3 p.m. our time 8 p.m. your time: I don't know if it will have the same impact via the radio as it did live
but it was a once-in-a-lifetime performance for those us who heard it.