Pick of the Proms 2014 - Part 1

This year I’ve picked 35 of the 76 Proms and 10 of those are “don’t miss this” Proms marked ***
Full details on each concert can be found here:

On the whole there aren’t many where i’m entirely happy with the programme - too often the really interesting works are paired with really popular (overplayed) symphonies.  Indeed there are a lot of overplayed works in the mix - Tchaikovsky Six, Shostakovich Ten, Saint-Saens Third, Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique and Beethoven Nine all getting outings when they could do well to stay in their boxes.

But here’s my pick of the first half of the season:

Prom 6 Der Rosenkavalier - the Glyndebourne production under Ticciati - some unfamiliar names in the cast too.

Prom 7 - Isabelle Faust plays the second Bartok Violin Concerto and Sarah  Connelly sings a posthumous Tavener premiere - Bēlohlávek conducts Shostakovich Ten too

Prom 10 Juanjo Mena - who amazed us with two Proms last year brings us the Moeran Violin Concerto with Tamsin Little fresh from recording success and an English programme of Walton, Horne and sadly Elgar’s Enigma ***

Prom 14 has a new flute concerto by Simon Holt premiered by Emmanuel Pahud and the delicious Ruby Hughes singing in Durufle’s Requiem - Thierry  Fischer conducts.

Proms Chamber Music 2 is devoted to C P E Bach who is having a good year - should be at least educational.

Late Nighter - Prom 17 the famed William Christie and Les Arts Florissant give those who can stay late 3 Grands Motets by Rameau

Prom 18 Mena’s second Prom offers Birtwhistle’s Black Night Bird and Mahler Sym No 5. There’s also Ravel’s Piano Concerto for Left Hand ***

Prom 20 Brings the Beamish violin concerto in it’s London Premiere and Walton Sym No 1 - with Martyn  Brabbins conducting the BBC SO - should be lively.

Prom 23 offers Carolyn Sampson in Mozart’s Requiem - Runnicles conducts

Prom 26 an electric programme of Berio Sinfonia and Shostakovich Sym No 4 with Bychkov conducting EUYO ***

Prom 27 Delighted to see the Matthias Violin Concerto with Trusler as soloist and Mark Wrigglesworth as conductor on the programme after I raved about it recently I had hoped for more performances. Sadly Elgar 1 and Wagner’s overture to Das Liebesverbot make for dull bed-fellows

Prom 28 Oramo is conducting Oedipus Rex and some makeweight Beethoven but Leila Josefowicz in a new concerto by Francesconi is intriguing enough to tip the balance.

Proms Saturday Matinee 2 John Storgårds and Haken Hardenberger will ensure a sell out debut for the Lapland Chamber Orchestra who bring a fantastic programme of C P E Bach, Birtwhistle, Honegger, Maxwell Davies and Sibelius***

Prom 31 Mark Elder leads the Halle in another London premiere - this one by Helen Grime called Near Midnight,  We also get Berlioz and Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony but for many I think the attraction will be Alice Coote singing Sea Pictures by Elgar probably ***

Prom 33  The National Youth Orchestra (always welcome at the Proms) Ed Gardner conducts - Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Prokofiev’s First Piano Concerto and a 3 minute piece by Birtwhistle capped with Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchesra.  Louis Schwizgebel is making his debut as the concerto soloist.

Prom 36 finally in this half of the drawer another very fine programme in which Sakari Oramo conducts three works by Vaughan Williams including the quasi symphonic Job - A Masque for Dancing and the rare Alwyn Sym No 1 last given 1953.  Janine Jansen is the Lark Ascending ***

Part 2 is here


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