2011 BBC Proms

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by PeterBale, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I've just been looking through this year's Proms brochure, and yet again there is a distinct lack of representation of brass - and woodwind for that matter. As far as I can see there are no featured ensembles and only one brass soloist, Philippe Schartz in an interesting-looking double concerto for clarinet and flugel. The only other wind soloist is flautist Emmanuel Pahud, with two appearances, one orchestral and one chamber music.

    Looks like our one consolation will be Havergal Brian's "Gothic Symphony" (Prom 4, 17th July, with its 32 wind, 24 on stage brass, 24 off stage brass, 6 timpanists, 18 percussion, 4 key)boards and harps, 82 strings - total orchestra c190 players, PLUS adult choir of minimum 500, children's choir of 100 and 4 soloists. A whole season's allocation in one concert!

  2. baridis

    baridis Member

    There is also the performance of Janacek's Sinfonietta, which of course features trumpets, bass trumpets and horns!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2011
  3. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    I also noticed that there is a world premiere of a Judith Bingham organ piece, The Everlasting Crown, in Prom 3. Wonder if it will get a better reception than "Prague" :confused:
  4. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    It will probably go down well, just as Prague and her other works have done outside of the contesting sphere ;) - don't recall any uproar when Prague was first performed (? BBC Festival of Brass?)
  5. TonyW

    TonyW Supporting Member

    Do we have to buy a whole Season Ticket just for this one concert?
  6. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

  7. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    I can confirm that this concerto is mental. Absolutely mad and rock hard, but good :)
  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... but no trombones as they have been replaced by vuvuzelas ... :rolleyes:
  9. katieeuph

    katieeuph Member

    On the positive side, Emmanuel Pahud is amazing!!:)
  10. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    Maybe they thought that they could do The Brass Prom (a couple of years ago) and keep everyone happy for a few years.
    Shame it was such a disappointing day (for me anyway).
    Can't see it being repeated.

    It is a shame that there are not more brass soloists, but there will still be a decent brass presence in the orchestras.

    Whoever organises the Proms has gon with the traditional solo instruments - piano and strings. Nice to see that they are still being conservative in their choice:rolleyes:

    Wonder what will happen with the Philadelphia Orchestra (September 8th) - they are currently in the process of filing for bankruptcy.

    There is also a lack of Sea Songs at the Last Night. For me, this is a huge disappointment, one of the most traditional aspects of the evening and they have discarded it. Having spent the past few years ruining it (by removing the trombone quartet and replacing it with a video link to lonely looking players around the country) they now dispose of it altogether.
    But it could be worse - if you go to Proms in the Park you have the "talent" of Katherine Jenkins and Russell Watson:eek:
  11. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    I really fear for the Proms as a musical festival, and actually I have some sympathy for the organisers, on the one hand they are criticised for being too conservative and elitist, they are then pushed into being inclusive, and running the very real risk of dumbing down the musical content to a point where it becomes almost meaningless. I noticed the comedy prom.. Tim Minchen might be a good entertainer (my sons think he is brilliant) and he may even be a decent musician, but how does he relate to serious music (and how will he control his potty mouth for the proms)?
    there will be some great brass playing, you just have to listen for it, and I hope the Philadelphia orchestra make it, we need more tuba players like theirs :)
  12. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    And there will be some great playing by the John Wilson orchestra in the MGM prom!
  13. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I don't. Having just had a long speech from the directors, this years proms is the best attended in many years. I will have done three (in one guise or another) and (assuming tonight is sold out) all three are exceptionally well attended - including a Harrison Birtwistle premiere.

    The Proms as a festival is without a doubt the biggest event of it's kind in the world. With tickets available for £5 a throw I can't believe the people who are still carping about it. If they can't find anything to like in 72 concerts, they need to have a rethink!:mad: (comment not directed at pbirch)

    As for the alleged 'brass band' prom of a couple of years back (actually a brass day including all sorts of different brassy performers), we need to consider ourselves in the wider context of music making and realise exactly how insignificant we are.
  14. tgfoxley

    tgfoxley Member

    How hard is it to include Fantasia on British Sea Songs though?

    Although apart from that, agreed :)
  15. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Fantasia could, should have been instead of You'll Never Walk Alone and Climb Every Mountain!
  16. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    The reason I fear for the future of the Proms has nothing to do with the quality of the music, or the variety of the classical music available, but with dumbing down within the programming, we had a spaghetti western prom, a doctor who prom, a musicals prom, a folk prom (which was excellent by the way), a blue planet prom, a comedy prom and so on, all these genres have their own festivals and events, WOMAD and the Edinburgh fringe for example, and so do not really need to be part of an international festival of classical music. Even the tv coverage on BBC2 & 4 was not broadcast live, which was disappointing. There does need to be inclusion in music of all genres for everyone who wants to get involved, but it needs to be done in an intelligent way, without treating people like children
  17. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Proms in the early days featured a lot of light music - programmes were deliberately chosen to juxtapose 'high' and 'low' art, with the aim of drawing in audiences with the familiar stuff and then turning them on to the more thoughtful stuff.

    If I was feeling pretentious, I'd trot out that saying in French about how the more things change, the more they stay the same... Mind you, I'd have to look it up first as my French is distinctly "Le singe est dans l'arbre"...
  18. pbirch

    pbirch Member

    I would agree with that, but the "high" and the "low" should be within the same concert, not separated into different events. If it is not, contemporary composers do not get the exposure they need, premier performances become the only performance and programming will pander to popularity only. An example would be Andre Rieu, it is great entertainment, but we wouldn't want it all the time (and I would not want to see an Andre Rieu Prom)
  19. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Looking back, hindsight, etc, I thought the programming was rather lacklustre. Agreed the programming of high and low needs to be refelcted but, they done the wrong way. There were far too many, as some have been listed alreay, i dont have to mention them again. I think one of the worst was the Mahler 9 Prom with Sir Roger Norrington and the NDR SO. Gah!!!

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