BBC Proms reviews

Prom 15: BBC SO/Bělohlávek @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Simon Thomas

Dance and folk music were at the heart of Prom 15. You’d have won no prizes for guessing that Jiří Bělohlávek would make a good job of the first half of tonight’s concert. A joyously…



Prom 7: OAE/Christie @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Simon Thomas

A regular visitor to the BBC Proms for some years now, Glyndebourne Opera has had some great successes transferring product from its Sussex base. Last year’s Coronation of Poppaea and, before that, Guilio Cesare were...

Prom 5: LSO/Haitink @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Keith McDonnell

There are many ways to approach Mahler, but having witnessed so much self indulgence on the part of some recent conductors (who will remain nameless) it was a blessing and a relief to be in...

Prom 4: Concerto Copenhagen/Mortensen @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Sam Smith

Though officially a concert performance, this presentation of Handel’s Partenope could almost have been dubbed semi-staged. Originating from this season’s Royal Danish Theatre production, which accounted for its sharp dramatic edge, the performance had one...

Prom 2: Gabrieli Consort & Players/McCreesh @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Keith McDonnell

Paul McCreesh marshalled his colossal period instrument forces to deliver as exciting performance of Haydn’s The Creation as you’re ever likely to hear. Mention period performance and the image that usually appears is of a...

Prom 1: BBC SO/Belohlávek @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Simon Thomas

As with Roger Wright’s very first programme last year, the 115th Proms Season’s opener was a fusion of flavours and hints of themes to come over the coming weeks. Stravinsky, whose whole ballet canon is...

Preview: BBC Proms 2009

by Ben Hogwood

“Full of energy in its 115th year”. That’s how the BBC describe their premier classical music festival, and few could argue, given the depth and breadth of this line-up. Long gone are the days when...

Prom 45: BBC Scottish SO/Volkov @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Simon Thomas

The second of Ilan Volkov and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s proms was a demanding but stimulating exploration of the relationship between music and sonic articulation. The Royal Albert Hall was turned into a huge...

Prom 44: BBC Scottish SO/Volkov @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Simon Thomas

In the first of two consecutive concerts this week, Ilan Volkov and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra gave us the UK Premiere of an Elliott Carter work with a Prokofiev oddity and Beethoven at his...

Prom 23: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Runnicles @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Christian Hoskins

Prom 23 brought the juxtaposition of an early work by one great composer with a late work by another, performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Donald Runnicles, who becomes their...

Prom 39: Wagner/Götterdämmerung @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Simon Thomas

The BBC Proms Ring cycle came to a conclusion this week with Donald Runnicles, director of the San Francisco Opera and an acclaimed Wagnerian, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a concert performance of Götterdämmerung....

Preview: BBC Proms 2006

by Dominic McHugh

With 90 concerts and over 120 events, the BBC Proms 2006 are the highpoint of the classical music calendar. Celebrations of the anniversaries of Mozart and Shostakovich, a focus on new music and a visit...

Prom 2: Mozart the Dramatist – Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Norrington @ Royal Al...

by Dominic McHugh

After a drab start to the Proms last night, Sir Roger Norrington galvanised the festival into the kind of gear it should be in, and led us on an enthralling expedition through Mozart’s operas. Entitled...

Prom 1: First Night of the Proms – BBC Symphony Orchestra/Belohlávek @ Royal Alb...

by Dominic McHugh

To open the world’s biggest classical music festival, the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s new Chief Conductor, the Czech Jiří Belohlávek, combined music that celebrated the year’s two composer-birthday boys, Mozart and Shostakovich, with music from his...

Prom 54: Górecki – Symphony No 3 @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Ben Hogwood

Henryk Górecki‘s third symphony has enjoyed an extraordinary popularity over the last decade or so, with a pioneering recording from Dawn Upshaw that has made upwards of a million sales, an extremely impressive achievement for...

Prom 47: Tippett – Symphony No 4; Beethoven – Symphony No 3 @ Royal Albert ...

by Dominic McHugh

The ripple of applause after the first movement of Beethoven’s Eroica symphony at this Proms concert summed up the whole event. For not only were members of the audience acknowledging the brilliance of the London...

Prom 23: Berlioz – Roméo et Juliette @ Royal Albert Hall, London

by Dominic McHugh

Berlioz remains one of the most unjustly neglected of composers of all time, which is extraordinary considering his contribution to the development of music in the 19th century. Perhaps one of the reasons is his...

Prom 1: Tippett – A Child Of Our Time; Elgar, Mendelssohn and Berlioz @ Royal Alb...

by Ben Hogwood

Sir Michael Tippett’s oratorio A Child Of Our Time may date from 1941, but its relevance to the first Prom of this new season could not be overestimated. Earlier the conductor Roger Norrington had reinforced...