Today at the Proms - Day 18


Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2021, Susan Omand takes a quick look at today's Prom...

Tonight's "A Night at the Opera" Prom will be televised on Thursday 19th on BBC Four

It's another "two for one" prom day today and, much as I'd love to just skip ahead to the main operatic event of this evening, the early prom also merits a quick look, just for larks. For it is indeed larks [I see what you did there - Ed] that are the inspiration for both pieces [neither of which are the ubiquitous Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams - Ed]. Both works are written for a String Quartet, traditionally two violins, a viola and a cello, and the strings are very reminiscent of the song of the bird in question. Haydn's Quartet was written as one of a set of six back in 1790 and Simpson's Quartet, although not named for the lark, seems to take the Haydn work as its inspiration over 150 years later as you can hear a very similar motif in both rhythm and progression. It will be interesting to hear both pieces played "back to back".

The main event of the night for me though is the plethora of operatic snippets on offer in the later prom. I will admit that there are a couple that I'm not familiar with, particularly the first and final pieces, so I'm keen to hear them, alongside the popular favourites of La Boheme and Carmen. 

Indeed it is Carmen that we take today's clip from - and it's the Habanera as you may never have heard it before...



[Yes, you will be singing it like this for the rest of the day - Ed]


Here's the full programme for today's Proms which you can listen to live on Radio 3 or on the iPlayer


The Marmen Quartet Plays Haydn and Simpson - 13:00 (repeated 18:00)

Joseph Haydn
String Quartet in D major, Op. 64 No. 5, ‘The Lark’ (20 mins)

Robert Simpson
String Quartet No. 1 (25 mins)


A Night at the Opera - 19:30

Francesca Caccini
La liberazione di Ruggiero – suite(5 mins)

Ludwig van Beethoven
Fidelio – ‘Abscheulicher! … Komm, Hoffnung, lass den letzten Stern’(7 mins)
Fidelio – Gott! welch Dunkel hier! … In des Lebens Frühlingstagen(11 mins)
Fidelio – ‘O namenlose Freude!’(3 mins)

Christoph Willibald Gluck
Orfeo ed Euridice – ‘Che farò senza Euridice?’(5 mins)

Giacomo Puccini
La bohème – ‘Che gelida manina’(5 mins)
La bohème – ‘Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì’(6 mins)
La bohème – ‘O soave fanciulla’(5 mins)

INTERVAL

Georges Bizet
Carmen – Prelude(4 mins)
Carmen – ‘La fleur que tu m’avais jetée’(4 mins)

George Frideric Handel
Rodelinda – ‘Io t'abbraccio’(7 mins)

Engelbert Humperdinck
Hansel and Gretel – ‘Der kleine Sandmann bin ich’(5 mins)
Hansel and Gretel – ‘Abends, will ich schlafen gehn’(6 mins)
Hansel and Gretel – Dream Pantomime(3 mins)

Leos Janáček
Jenůfa – closing scene(5 mins)


Image adapted from NORTH-FACING ENTRANCE OF THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL AT DUSK © David Iliff