BBC Proms - starts tonight (Friday 14/7)

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by johnflugel, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    BBC Proms Season starts tonight. A concert every night between now and early September. Pleased to know that my license fee pays for something decent!

    Tonights programme (screened on BBC1 and BBC2) includes Le Corsair by Berlioz, Cockaigne Overture by Elgar, Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E Minor and Tippetts Child of our Time.

    For the full programme:

    Take the chance to hear some great music and fantastic musicians over the next few months.
  2. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I've just watched this and really enjoyed it. I thought Sir Roger Norrington's speech was elequant and poingnant and the choice of programme was spookily significant given the events of last week.

    A Child of Our Time was a new one for me - although I have heard an awful lot said about it I've never actually heard the work in full before. I enjoyed it greatly.

    A good start to what I hope is a good Proms season.
  3. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    A lot of people on the BBC Poms messageboard have been moaning about subtitles and graphics/cartoons? I didn't see it, (I've given up on the Proms until they stop pandering to the 'masses' and turning MOST of the festival into a Classic FM type Hall of Fame.
  4. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I didn't see a great deal - mainly the end of "Cockaigne". where I did find the subtitles off-putting: they were an attempt to describe what was happening in the music, such as "Now the brass take over the melody . . . " etc.

    I also felt the performance was a little lack-lustre, with the trombones in particular failing to cut through as you might expect. What I saw of the end of "Child of our time" was much better, with Sir Willard White on top form.
  5. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    I could see why some felt the subtitles a bit annoying. Thinking aside of my own feelings, I am sure that were very helpful to those who had never really watched an orchestra perform.
  6. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Some of the subtitles were a little lame in their wording (a bit like this post maybe...:rolleyes: ) but I did find the odd one quite useful. I guess its an attempt to make things a little more accessable to the general public so the BBC ought be given some credit for it.
  7. JDH

    JDH Member

    I found the subtitles very distracting, I just could not get into the music - so they certainly spoilt the performance for me. Some of the text was interesting, but most was simply inane. Also I could do without the mood pictures. I will not watch the Proms in future, if this is what the BBC is offering
  8. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    The problem is who do the BBC aim their coverage at?

    We are writing from the point of view of musicians (to varying levels). We know ho0w to listen to themes being passed around the orchestra, or the recapitulation of the main theme which heralds the approaching end of a movement or piece.
    Much of the general public are not familiar with this style of music and, for them, I imagine the informational subtitles could have been qiute helpful.

    I admit to finding them a little off-putting (and as for the "mood pictures" - why? just why??), but who am I to say that some people might benefit from them?
    I would have preferred the description to be available through true subtitles (Ceefax 888 style). That way those of us who prefer to watch the orchestra without the "benefit" of visual commentary would be able to do so. Those who would like some guidance can then have it at their disposal.

    The "mood pictures" can be scrapped immediately - what plus side did they have?
    If I am wanting to watch a concert I want to be able to see the musicians interact with each other - that is why I would want to watch a concert. If I wanted to watch some third-rate slide show, I would ask my relatives to send me powerpoint presentations of their holidays.
    This has been the way the BBC has been going during the past couple of years - who can imagine what they are going to do during the Last Night - aside from the usual traipsing round the country so that each Proms in the Park can add in their party pieces (why?) are we going to be getting pictures of dancing sailors during the hornpipe? Scenes from Brassed Off during Concierto de Aranjuez (being played on a guitar:eek: )? A still of Her Majesty (Gawd bless 'Er) during The National Anthem?

    If this is the way the BBC are going, I feel it is a shame, but maybe this is part of their outreach programme, trying to get themselves seen by the mass population, not just the ones who would be watching it even if it was just a single camera focussed on the orchestra throughout.
    The fact that most people who would not watch this programme are probably not watching it because they are not fans of classical music, not because they are wanting to see pretty pictures and have everything explained to them.
  9. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    The subtitles were extremely inconsistent in my opinion - they expected everyone to know what double-stopping was yet feel the need to call a trill a "shaking note"!

    Plus I tend to watch orchestras to get an idea of different techniques and seeing the orchestra in action so to look up at one point in the Mendelssohn and see crashing waves was a leetle on the bizarre side!

    Surely the people who watch the Proms either know enough about music to appreciate it without subtitles or just like to hear a good tune???

    Rach x (Beaker says Meep in agreement)
  10. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Surely the technology exists now to make the subtitles optional so that those - like me and others here who find them irritating - can switch them off. I appreciate that the educational function is very much a part of the BBC's mandate and if the subtitles draw in even a few additional viewers and help them to appreciate serious music, then fine, but where's the announcement to say "those of who who wish to enjoy the music without subtitles, press your red button now"? For more 'difficult' contemporary music and pieces heard for the first time, well-written subtitles might really serve a useful function.

    I didn't mind the graphics, newsreel films of old London etc. quite so much - they're often preferable to showboating conductors, percussionists counting rests and bassoonists' twitchy embouchures!


  11. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    I only saw it to hear CORSAIR but well worth it a good showing of the BERLIOZ classic.

    Even our cat heard it as well.
    After all she was the composer of the piece as her name is BERLIOZ:biggrin:

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