Today at the Proms - Day 21


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

Woah, we're half way there! [Earworm... you're welcome - Ed.] Yes, Prom Day 21 marks the official half way point in this year's season and it's one that made my Top 5 most anticipated Proms list at the start of the season. As if to make up for yesterday's minimal programme information, there's a shedload of shorties to look forward to tonight as the marvellous experimentalist Shiva Feshareki takes to the decks to mix ancient and modern, sacred and secular.

With everyone from Thomas Tallis to Josquin des Prez [with whom you will now be familiar - Ed] to Stravinsky to a couple of world premieres, 500 years of choral music is encompassed in about an hour of glorious continuous sound. Yes, continuous, as this will apparently be expertly mixed DJ stylee from one to the next. Not only that, the way the pieces have been ordered in the programme, there is a feeling of question and answer, call and response, with an older piece being followed by a newer work that took inspiration from it. Colour me very much intrigued.

And so to today's clip. It's been a wonderfully difficult decision from this veritable smorgasbord [why are smorgasbords always veritable? - Ed] of cracking choral? Obviously we shall all have to wait and see how the Premieres sound but, playing through the other individual pieces, one really stood out to me, giving me goosebumps... and it's not the Stravinsky piece, although it is stunning and so unlike his other work that it is shocking. No, it's the Ken Burton piece, Many Are the Wonders. Subtitled "A Reflection on Thomas Tallis- Loquebantur variis linguis", the work which immediately precedes it in tonight's programme, this is gospel like you have never heard it before...



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

Josquin des Prez
Qui habitat in adiutorio altissimi (a 24 )(6 mins)

Thomas Tallis
Loquebantur variis linguis (4 mins)

Ken Burton
Many Are the Wonders (5 mins)

Hildegard von Bingen
O viridissima virga (4 mins)

Clément Janequin
Le chant des oiseaux (2 mins)

Bernard Hughes
Birdchant (5 mins) BBC commission: world premiere

Igor Stravinsky
Tres sacrae cantiones – Illumina nos (3 mins)

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
Je sens en moy une flamme nouvelle (2 mins)

Nico Muhly
A New Flame (after Sweelinck) (8 mins) BBC commission: world premiere

William Byrd
Ave verum corpus (4 mins)

Roderick Williams
Ave verum corpus Re-imagined (6 mins)

Shiva Feshareki
Aetherworld (12 mins )BBC commission: world premiere

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