Today at the Proms - Prom 43


Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2019, Susan Omand has a quick look at the programme for Prom 43: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony ...

There's a couple of world premieres and an old favourite on the cards tonight. I can't really tell you much about the world premieres because, well, they're world premieres. Jonathan Dove's work was commissioned to celebrate the 90th birthday of the BBC Symphony Chorus, who have regularly given splendid performances of Dove's music at the Proms and is his reflection on the fact that "that twentieth-century archaeology showed us that we are all indeed brothers and sisters." It features an original text written by Dove's long time collaborator Alasdair Middleton and Dove apparently already had an idea of the kind of choral music he wanted to write: "something joyous and tribal, but not using (or copying) any traditional music from another country." So it sounds wonderful.

The second world premiere is a Piano Concerto by Swiss composer Dieter Ammann. Specially written for tonight's soloist Andreas Haefliger, who is joined tonight by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo.“Ammann is very influenced by jazz," said Haefliger in a recent interview, "and he’s tried to capture the freedom of jazz in his notation. So it’s enormously hard rhythmically. I’ve set aside a whole month to learn it.” It should be note perfect then.

The work after the interval is very much NOT a World premiere being the, literally, joyful 9th Symphony by Beethoven. Also called the Choral, this was the first symphony ever to include voices singing as one of the "instruments" in the final movement, with words taken from the "Ode to Joy", a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785 and revised in 1803. See? I said it was joyful!

You know the tune for Ode to Joy already but you may not have heard this version of it, from the end of the biopic on Beethoven's life, Immortal Beloved. Yet another film that Gary Oldman deserved an Oscar for because his portrayal of Beethoven was sublime, the film is also available to watch for free on Amazon Prime in the UK.



Here's the full programme for this evening's Prom which you can listen to live from 19:30 on Radio 3 or on the iPlayer 

Jonathan Dove
We Are One Fire(10 mins)BBC commission: world premiere

Dieter Ammann
Piano Concerto(25 mins)BBC co-commission with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthaus Wien, Lucerne Festival, Münchner Philharmoniker and Taipei Symphony Orchestra, supported by Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council: world premiere

INTERVAL

Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No 9 in D minor, 'Choral'(70 mins)


Image - Photo © Chris Christodoulou