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Proms 2017 - Retrospective Reviews - Part 2

Prom 17: Simpson - The Immortal I tend to avoid Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony - but as one might have expected Juanjo Mena's reading is exact, plush and insightful of this overplayed but under-examined score.  Now in his last season with the orchestra one hopes Maestro Mena will look back on some great work at the proms - I've enjoyed and recorded so many here.  His Proms premieres have been notable - and the Mark Simpson premiere "The Immortal" in the first half of this prom underlined Mena's ease with both soloists and choirs.  The Immortal is just over thirty minutes in the company of a composer and his librettist who were exploring the Victorian and Edwardian fascination with the supernatural and the sense of unknown but familiar other.  It's a piece which I will need to hear again but the initial impact is both palpable and a shade uneasy- which is presumably just what they were looking for.  Christopher Purves was a lost soul who's first wor…

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