Today at the Proms - Day 39


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


It's easy seen we're into the final week of this year's Proms season as they're really starting to pack them in now, with no fewer than TWENTY SEVEN different pieces of music [count 'em below - Ed] spread between today's two proms. 

So, no, I'm not going to say something erudite about each separate work today [do you ever? - Ed] but will instead look at each prom as a whole. Viardot, for whom the first prom of the day is named, is not a composer that I know but apparently she was one of these annoying people who was good at everything she tried. She was fluent in six languages, sang mezzo-soprano opera, played piano well enough to be considered a concert pianist and composed, arranged and taught music in a variety of different styles throughout her long life in the 19th century.  She also seemed to know, or have a connection to EVERYONE who was anyone in the music world at that time, from Gounod, to Berlioz to Mozart himself. The afternoon prom, therefore, includes work, not just by her, but by a lot of her friends, like Chopin with whom she duetted on the piano, Liszt with whom she took music classes as a kid and Fauré, to whom her daughter was briefly engaged. Oh, and Manuel García, her father. And María Malibrán, her sister. And... well, you get the idea.

The evening prom is a good bit more modern, promising work by Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass and Olivier Messiaen amongst others. I'm really looking forward to Einojuhani Rautavaara's Cantus arcticus which uses Arctic birdsong on tape as one of the instruments in the orchestra. Today's clip, still on a birdlike theme, is the tiny but utterly sublime A Sparrow Alighted Upon Our Shoulder by Jóhann Jóhannsson. 



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

Pauline Viardot and her Circle - 13:00

Pauline Viardot
Già la notte s’avvicina (Canzonetta de concert) (4 mins) attr. Joseph Haydn/Roman Hoffstetter, arr. Pauline Viardot

Johannes Brahms
Five Songs, Op. 94 – No. 4: ‘Sapphische Ode’ (2 mins)
Seven Songs, Op. 48 – No. 1: ‘Der Gang zum Liebchen’ (2 mins)

Clara Schumann
Volkslied (3 mins)
Lorelei (3 mins)

Franz Liszt
Vergiftet sind meine Lieder (1 mins)
Comment, disaient-ils (2 mins)(1849–59 version)

Pauline Viardot
Six Songs of the 15th Century – No. 1: ‘Aimez-moi’ (3 mins)

María Malibrán
La voix qui dit: je t’aime (2 mins)

Manuel García
Chansons espagnoles – No. 6: ‘Es corredor’ (2 mins) arr. Pauline Viardot

Giacomo Meyerbeer
Le prophète – ‘Donnez pour une pauvre âme’ (6 mins)

Pauline Viardot
Le dernier sorcier – ‘Coulez, gouttes fines’ (Chanson de la pluie) (3 mins)

Gabriel Fauré
Two Songs, Op. 4 – No. 1: ‘La chanson du pêcheur (Lamento) (3 mins)

Pauline Viardot
The Tit (2 mins)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
My genius, my angel, my friend! (2 mins)

Pauline Viardot
On Georgian Hills (2 mins)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
12 Romances, Op. 60 – No. 10: ‘At the window, in the shadow’ (2 mins)

Frédéric Chopin
Six Mazurkas by Frédéric Chopin – No. 4: ‘Zalotna’ (3 mins) arr. Pauline Viardot


BBC Concert Orchestra & James McVinnie - 19:30

Einojuhani Rautavaara
Cantus arcticus (18 mins)

Judith Weir
Still, Glowing (4 mins)

Philip Glass
Mad Rush (11 mins)

Arvo Pärt
Festina lente (6 mins)

Jóhann Jóhannsson
Good Night, Day (4 mins)

Olivier Messiaen
Méditations sur le Mystère de la Sainte Trinité – Méditation V: ‘Dieu est immense’ (10 mins)

Jóhann Jóhannsson
A Sparrow Alighted Upon Our Shoulder (3 mins)

Missy Mazzoli
Holy Roller (9 mins)

Samy Moussa
A Globe Itself Infolding (11 mins) UK premiere

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