What’s coming up in week four of the 2017 Proms season? Susan Omand gives you some Proms Prompters...
August already, closing in fast on the half way point, and there’s much both new and familiar to enjoy in week four of the Proms season. My first recommendation has to be the National Youth Orchestra performance on Saturday. Now I will admit to not knowing any of Fransisco Coll’s work at all and am unfamiliar with much of Thomas Ades’ soundscape composition, but am interested to find out more about both, so why the recommendation? Because of having Stravinsky in the programme. I LOVE Stravinsky’s work – it is hard, it is challenging, it is an acquired taste I will grant you but please please listen to one of my favourite ever pieces of classical music with the Rite of Spring.
Anyway, second recommendation is a bit of a bitsa as I want to highlight the second half of Wednesday prom (Elgar’s wonderful Enigma variations) and the first half of Thursday’s Prom with Sibelius’ Karelia Suite, with which I’ve always had a personal connection. So they may be things to pick up on iPlayer after the event.
And the final recommendation is one which caused one of my friends to go off on a serious rant recently. So it is with much mischievous glee that I point you to Friday’s offering of a Rodgers and Hammerstein spectacular. Altogether now... “There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow...”
As well as the televised concerts, every Prom is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and HD Sound online, so “people in countries all over the world can tune in and have 'the best seat in the house’”. They’ll also be available to download on the Radio 3 app and you’ll find any you missed on iPlayer.
Here’s the full list of what’s on this week (Saturday 5th to Friday 11th August)
Saturday 5 August 2017
NATIONAL YOUTH ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN (Televised live on BBC Four)
Hear the UK’s finest young musical talent in a vibrant programme conducted by Thomas Adès. Two vast sonic soundscapes open a programme that climaxes in Stravinsky’s thrilling The Rite of Spring, with its frenzied rhythms and provocative harmonies.
Francisco Coll Mural(24 mins)London premiere
Thomas Adès Polaris(14 mins)
Igor Stravinsky The Rite of Spring(34 mins)
Sunday 6 August 2017
MUSSORGSKY – KHOVANSHCHINA
Shot through with folk melodies, Mussorgsky’s ‘national music drama’ Khovanshchina weaves a richly coloured operatic tapestry in which Russia herself is the heroine. Semyon Bychkov conducts the BBC SO and an exciting cast, including Elena Maximova.
Modest Mussorgsky Khovanshchina (orch. Dmitry Shostakovich)(190 mins)(concert performance; sung in Russian)
Monday 7 August 2017
WALTON – BELSHAZZAR’S FEAST
Gods, demons and mortals do battle in a concert full of musical legends and fairy tales. Hear Prokofiev’s revolution-inspired cantata Seven, They Are Seven for the first time at the Proms, alongside Walton’s choral spectacular Belshazzar’s Feast.
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No 1 in C major(26 mins)
Richard Strauss Die Frau ohne Schatten – Symphonic Fantasy(21 mins)
Sergei Prokofiev Seven, They Are Seven(8 mins)
William Walton Belshazzar's Feast(36 mins)
Tuesday 8 August 2017
BERLIOZ – THE DAMNATION OF FAUST
Part opera, part cantata, Berlioz’s ‘dramatic legend’ is an epic retelling of the Faust story that captures the extremes of man’s ambition and folly. Tenor Michael Spyres returns to the Proms in the title-role, conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
Hector Berlioz The Damnation of Faust(125 mins)(sung in French)
Wednesday 9 August 2017
BRITTEN, BRIAN ELIAS, PURCELL AND ELGAR
Four centuries of British musical history are packed into a Prom that stretches from the 17th century to a world premiere. At the heart of the concert are Elgar’s beloved ‘Enigma’ 'Variations and Britten’s powerful, politically charged Ballad of Heroes.
Benjamin Britten Ballad of Heroes(17 mins)
Brian Elias Cello Concerto(25 mins)BBC commission: world premiere
Henry Purcell Jehova, quam multi sunt hostes mei, arr. Elgar(7 mins)
Edward Elgar Enigma Variations(30 mins)
Thursday 10 August 2017
SIBELIUS, GRIEG, SCHUMANN AND HINDEMITH
Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen makes her Proms debut, while cellist Alban Gerhardt steps into the spotlight for Schumann’s thoughtful Cello Concerto. The concert climaxes in the sprawling beauty of Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler.
Jean Sibelius Karelia Suite(15 mins)
Edvard Grieg Peer Gynt(21 mins)excerpts
Robert Schumann Cello Concerto in A minor(22 mins)
Paul Hindemith Symphony 'Mathis der Maler'(24 mins)
Friday 11 August 2017
JOHN WILSON CONDUCTS OKLAHOMA! (Televised live on BBC Four)
Bursting not just with tunes but emotions, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! brought new dramatic depth to the Broadway musical. John Wilson and his orchestra bring their signature energy and swagger to this much-loved classic.
Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II Oklahoma!(180 mins)(semi-staged)
Original Image - © David Iliff, Royal Albert Hall