Friday, 22 July 2011

Proms Watch 2011 Week 2

This is the second of my Proms-Watch analysis of British Music performed during the 2011 season. I am disappointed that the situation is considerably worse than it was last week.

Friday 22nd July
The BBC Philharmonic’s new Chief Conductor Designate Juanjo Mena gives a great concert of music by Ravel, de Falla and Debussy. I love all these works, especially Claude Debussy’s Images which is spread out in three sections over the evening – with de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain with Stephen Osborne as soloist being a major highlight. Naturally, as this is a Spanish Nigh there is no British Music. Although if asked, I could have suggested a few pieces by British composers that reflect the mood of the Iberian Peninsula. What about the Britten/Berkeley Mont Juic for example?

Saturday 23rd July
This evening is dedicated to a ‘Human Planet Prom’ with music by Nitin Sawhney. Other performances include music by Ayarkhaan (Sakha Republic), Bibilang Shark-Calling Group (Papua New Guinea), Khusugtun (Mongolia), Rasmus Lyberth (Greenland), and Enock Mbongwe (Zambia).

Sunday 24th July
This morning’s concert is also dedicated to a Human Planet Prom and also has music by Nitin Sawhney. It is not clear from the BBC Prom Website if this is different music to Saturday or a re-run of the same event.
Big night for Verdi enthusiasts - his masterly Requiem is performed by the BBC Symphony Chorus, the BBC National Chorus of Wales, the London Philharmonic Choir and the BBC Symphony Orchestra all conducted by Semyon Bychkov. Only this one work tonight.

Monday 25th July
At last there is a wee bit of British Music! However it is at a lunchtime concert, so anyone working will probably miss it! Two Fantasias by Henry Purcell and a new piece by Sally Beamish- Reed Stanzas (String Quartet No. 3). The concert concludes with Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet in B minor.
The evening Prom is given over to Gustav Mahler’s massive Symphony No.9

Tuesday 26th July
Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta, Bartok’s Piano Concerto No.1 and Liszt's relatively rarely performed Faust Symphony feature in tonight’s Prom. No British Music today.

Wednesday 27th July
The first half of the Prom is all music by Frenchmen: Hector Berlioz’s Overture ‘Le Corsair’, Gabriel Faure’s Pavane and Pascal Dusapin’s String Quartet No. 6, 'Hinterland' ('Hapax' for string quartet and orchestra) This is his second feature at the Proms in two weeks!! After the interval Stravinsky’s Firebird is given in its complete form.
The late night concert is Indian music. No British Music today.

Thursday 28th July
Today’s concert is largely a Beethoven night – with the First and Seventh Symphonies. Included is the Flute Concerto by Marc-Andre Dalbavie before and Elliot Carter’s Flute concerto after the interval. Emmanuel Pahud in the soloist. No British Music today.

So the score for this week is ‘three’ works by British composers, albeit chamber works lasting just under twenty minutes in total! That is unless one counts the film music by Nitin Sawhney however, he is not listed as a ‘composer’ in the Proms Website list of composers.

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