R3OK

The Music Boards => The Concert Hall => Proms => Topic started by: autoharp on December 20, 2010, 01:59:41 pm

Title: Proms 2011
Post by: autoharp on December 20, 2010, 01:59:41 pm
Havergal Brian's Gothic symphony is being performed at the Proms July 17, 2011 - BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Martyn Brabbins (The veracity of this information may be in doubt. Roger Wright of the BBC refuses to confirm or deny as all information is embargoed until April)

This from
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/DEC10/listing.htm#ixzz18ZGakhHF
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on December 20, 2010, 02:04:41 pm
Gor blimey auto, you're a bit late to the feast. There's been a developing thread on this over at The Radio 3 Forum some 19 hours ago:

http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?726-Brian-Gothic-2011-Proms&p=15038#post15038 (http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?726-Brian-Gothic-2011-Proms&p=15038#post15038) ;)
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: autoharp on December 20, 2010, 02:11:03 pm
How many forums must I access?
Why have you been keeping this secret from us, Bryn?
And why doesn't your link work? :D
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on December 20, 2010, 02:22:38 pm
Try the revised version:

http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?726-Brian-Gothic-2011-Proms&p=15038#post15038 (http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?726-Brian-Gothic-2011-Proms&p=15038#post15038)
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: marbleflugel on December 20, 2010, 07:43:27 pm
This is pleasantly surprising. A sometime colleague of mine got a performance together in California a few years ago iirc via 'The Ladies Who Lunch'etc who turned up trumps on that occasion. Maybe Brien would have fared better if he'd been born in or assimilated  in  America?
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: ahinton on December 21, 2010, 12:40:26 pm
Try the revised version:

http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?726-Brian-Gothic-2011-Proms&p=15038#post15038 (http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?726-Brian-Gothic-2011-Proms&p=15038#post15038)
Having successfully sought confirmation from a reliable and trustworthy authority, I can with no small amount of pleasure confirm that this performance is indeed scheduled to take place on the stated date in the stated venue with the stated forces in the stated concert series.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on December 21, 2010, 12:46:31 pm
Thank you. This time I think I will listen from the Arena, rather than the Gallery. Hopefully they will do the honours and use four separate additional bands, rather than grouping them into two as in the Boult and Schmidt performances. I might give the Schmidt a spin this afternoon.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: autoharp on December 21, 2010, 01:36:53 pm
Having successfully sought confirmation from a reliable and trustworthy authority, I can with no small amount of pleasure confirm that this performance is indeed scheduled to take place on the stated date in the stated venue with the stated forces in the stated concert series.

Yessir!
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on December 29, 2010, 11:13:29 am
I have just emailed Radio 3 via their "Contact Us" system to suggest a re-broadcast of their 1983 production of The Tigers on a Thursday afternoon in the run-up to the Prom performance of The Gothic. How about others doing likewise? Even if/though it might seem unlikely to  prompt such a re-broadcast before the Proms, perhaps it would at least serve to remind them that it is there in the archive.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: IRF on January 10, 2011, 10:31:28 pm
18 July 2011 Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Myung-Whun Chung performs Les Offrandes oubliees Royal Albert Hall (BBC Proms), London, UK

So it says here (http://www.oliviermessiaen.org/messnews.html)
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Reiner Torheit on January 11, 2011, 10:24:20 am
D'ya think there'll be any Mozart in the 2011 Proms?  I haven't heard much recently.  The R3 management must have some kind of vendetta against him, I somehow sense?
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: IRF on January 11, 2011, 11:35:51 am
I've done some research and discovered that this year is the 250th anniversary of Mozart being five years old. Clearly a significant event which they will be keen to celebrate!

Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Reiner Torheit on January 11, 2011, 12:55:06 pm
 :D   And include everything he wrote when aged 5 :)  Conducted by Charles Hazelwood.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Jim Penn on March 11, 2011, 03:27:13 pm
Just spotted a listing for a National Youth Orchestra concert (http://www.thsh.co.uk/view/national-youth-orchestra-of-great-britain0811) at Birmingham Symphony Hall this summer.... I presume that their summer school won't give them time to rehearse two complete programmes, so I guess it's a fair bet that their RAH appearance will be the same line-up. Looking at the programme, I think I probably won't be going to that one this year.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Stanley Stewart on April 07, 2011, 02:52:34 pm
The BBC Proms Guide 2011 can be pre-ordered from Amazon for £3 99p, rrp £6.   Distribution 15 April.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: perfect wagnerite on April 14, 2011, 10:55:18 am
The Proms listings are now up:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/

Norrington conducting Mahler 9!!  The tweed will be flying at TOP ... but Berlioz' arrangement of Der Freischutz is the thing most likely to lure me to the Great Wen ...
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Reiner Torheit on April 14, 2011, 11:02:41 am
(http://www.myvisiontv.com.au/images/goodvibrations2010.gif)
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Il Grande Inquisitor on April 14, 2011, 11:26:51 am
Norrington conducting Mahler 9!!  The tweed will be flying at TOP ... but Berlioz' arrangement of Der Freischutz is the thing most likely to lure me to the Great Wen ...

Yep, two of my highlights on a quick scan through the listings, or as quickly as the clunky website will allow. Others include the opening weekend - Guillaume Tell from Pappano and his Santa Cecilians + the Brian Gothic.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on April 14, 2011, 01:51:40 pm
on a quick scan through the listings, or as quickly as the clunky website will allow.

Not just me then.  This seems much, much less user-friendly than the usual Proms pages.  I can't find the 'list by week', 'list by month' or, indeed, anything that will show the details of concerts without clicking on the individual Prom.  Is this, I wonder, a conspiracy to force everyone to buy the brochure or just another BBC cock-up.  Having confirmed that the 'Gothic' is on the date suggested by the rumours I'll have to wait until after work to look through the listings properly.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Jim Penn on April 14, 2011, 02:13:46 pm
This seems much, much less user-friendly than the usual Proms pages.  I can't find the 'list by week', 'list by month' or, indeed, anything that will show the details of concerts without clicking on the individual Prom. 

Not even something like "next" and "previous" buttons, so you have to go navigate back to the basic Prom list in order to navigate onwards...

That said, having had an only-slightly-better-than-cursory glance, my initial reaction to the season, one or two individual things notwithstanding, is that it's not an especially great season. It looks rather narrow in scope, perhaps a bit too firmly embedded in 19th century and user-friendly early 20th century repertoire. I haven't looked in great detail, but I didn't particularly see a lot of pre-1800 music, for instance, and the general range of "new works" seems quite limited too. And the Glagolitic Mass for the first night?! Again??? It's not been that many years since it was the main work on the first night, surely....

Some things grab me (the "Gothic", Hamelin's Liszt recital, one or two others that might drag me there if I've nothing else on), but it feels a bit more miss than hit from where I'm sitting today.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Selva Oscura on April 14, 2011, 02:33:03 pm
As for "contemporary" music (... Birtwistle, Macmillan, Matthews, Knussen, Tavener, Reich, Weir, Holloway, Maxwell Davies, etc. etc., etc...) did they just copy and paste the names from previous Proms programmes to save time and effort? Wake me up when it's over.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: JSC on April 14, 2011, 02:44:59 pm
having had an only-slightly-better-than-cursory glance ... it feels a bit more miss than hit from where I'm sitting today
Same from here.

The contemporary music looks much worse than usual to me: even what's on offer from those 'same names' Selva mentions seems paltry. I'm going to be out of the country for just short of two weeks in the middle of August and was sure there'd be something I was going to regret not being able to attend at the Proms, but there actually isn't!

Quite looking forward to Graham Fitkin's Cello Concerto, though Beethoven 9 seems a weird coupling for that. :D
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: IRF on April 14, 2011, 04:35:36 pm
The layout of that site is very poor :(

Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Reiner Torheit on April 14, 2011, 05:17:33 pm
I'm remarkably underwhelmed overall.  Although there is some contemporary music, a lot of it is in tokenist 15-20 minute slots, in order not to frighten the horses.

I am pleased to see the Glyndebourne RINALDO in there - it's one of GFH's most striking works, written in a galant style to inveigle himself on arrival in London.  It may sometimes lack the subtelty of the later operas, but it has "hit arias" one after the next  :)  Venti, Turbini! is the Waterloo for the lead role, so I hope she has the fioritura under her belt for that :)  Or, la tromba! is an easier sing by comparison.  Sadly we shall be robbed of whatever scenic effects the Glyndebourne show had for "Furie terribili!", during which the soloist "passes through the sky on a chariot, drawn by smoke-breathing dragons with fearful faces"  :)
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Jonathan on April 14, 2011, 07:14:42 pm
Having heard Roger Wright on In Tune on the way home, I was expecting more in the way of Liszt.  Why the hell would you programme a arrangement of a Liszt work for organ by someone else when the original is superb?
I dispair  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on April 14, 2011, 08:20:14 pm
The Proms listings are now up:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/

Norrington conducting Mahler 9!!

An absolute must. I see it is to be Broadcast on BBC4 on the 28th July too. Really glad that The Gothic starts at 7 pm. That means I can get the last bus back home at around 9.40 pm.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Notoriously Bombastic on April 14, 2011, 11:41:15 pm
The layout of that site is very poor :(

Glad it's not just me missing the "show me everything" option.  Perhaps they are trying to encourage people to buy the paper guide?

NB
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: alywin on April 15, 2011, 12:26:23 am
Glad to see the Pittsburghers are coming: I grew rather fond of them while Jansons was in charge, but haven't seen them since.  At least, I was glad until I noticed that they were featuring one of my least-favourite soloists ...
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: SimonH on April 15, 2011, 06:47:02 am
It isn't a "festival" for contemporary music in any way now. Nor for music written in the last 50 years of the twentieth century. Which is an indicator of how & where the BBC has 'positioned' itself, I think (not just R3).

There are concerts I look forward to hearing (watching if on television): the highlight being one of the greatest of all Mahler conductors, Roger Norrington,  conducting Mahler 9.

& Le Freischütz :laughter3: is intriguing. None of the reservations about the Albert Hall have gone away, of course.


Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: ahinton on April 15, 2011, 07:05:54 am
It isn't a "festival" for contemporary music in any way now. Nor for music written in the last 50 years of the twentieth century. Which is an indicator of how & where the BBC has 'positioned' itself, I think (not just R3).
No, the new and recent music input is indeed rather disappointing; so many lost opportunities. The few-and-far-between redeeming features here have to be searched for (and, as we all seem to agree, that's not exactly made easy by the layout of the current web page); I for one am looking forward to the new Holloway concerto but, as you say, the representation of the past half century or so leaves all too much to be desired.

one of the greatest of all Mahler conductors, Roger Norrington,  conducting Mahler 9.
Somehow I think that you may have stirred up abit of a hornet's nest here, Simon! - especially given the importance of the work in question...

None of the reservations about the Albert Hall have gone away, of course.
No; nor has the place itself, of course. I've long since preferred Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt's wartime tale about it than Beecham's bon mot about Kensington Gas ChamberWorks...
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: George Garnett on April 15, 2011, 09:07:44 am
Glad to see the Pittsburghers are coming: I grew rather fond of them while Jansons was in charge, but haven't seen them since.  At least, I was glad until I noticed that they were featuring one of my least-favourite soloists ...
You old tease, alywin, leaving us to guess which one of the two you are referring to.

I will admit though that I'm afraid I had a similar "I was glad" feeling when I saw who was singing Max in Le Freischütz.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: j-rmit on April 15, 2011, 09:38:33 am
The best new music prom by miles is the one with Aperghis - Champ-Contrechamp and Birtwistle - Angel Fighter, and that's been shoved into a Saturday matinee slot.  :(

There are a few interesting things in there - the Fitkin concerto has been mentioned; Volans' 3rd Piano Concerto might be interesting; the 2 Dusapin pieces could be really special (or fall flat, but that's Dusapin ;)); and Emanuel Pahud playing both the Dalbavie and Carter concertos should be a big night too. Can't muster much interest in yet another performance of Music for 18 Musicians I'm afraid - wish they'd chosen a less obvious Reich programme for his late birthday celebration.

At the launch last night Roger Wright riffed quite a lot on how many British composers beginning with 'B' were in this year's programme. I'm assuming our two local representatives of this group politely declined their invitations?  ::)

Don't know why people are having difficulties navigating the site, btw - click 'what's on' and you get a week-by-week overview, with great big forward and back buttons at the top and bottom of each page. Works well for me:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/whats-on/2011/july-15
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on April 15, 2011, 10:07:17 am

one of the greatest of all Mahler conductors, Roger Norrington,  conducting Mahler 9.
Somehow I think that you may have stirred up abit of a hornet's nest here, Simon! - especially given the importance of the work in question...


Were this the old BBC Radio boards or the new ones hosted by FoR3, that might be the case, but here?  I doubt there will be many detractors from Simon's assessment, especially where Norrington's devastatingly faithful direction of the 9th is concerned. I am looking forward to that Prom even more than to The Gothic.

Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: George Garnett on April 15, 2011, 10:39:09 am
Don't know why people are having difficulties navigating the site, btw - click 'what's on' and you get a week-by-week overview, with great big forward and back buttons at the top and bottom of each page. Works well for me.
I was particularly taken with the prominent "Less Information" buttons. All websites should be required to have them.

I don't suppose copies will have reached our Tescos Mini-Mart as yet but I'll trot along at some point to see.  :hthumbupr:
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on April 15, 2011, 11:05:03 am
Don't know why people are having difficulties navigating the site, btw - click 'what's on' and you get a week-by-week overview, with great big forward and back buttons at the top and bottom of each page. Works well for me:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/whats-on/2011/july-15

Well, trj, I'm not having trouble navigating as such; it's just that it's taking a very long time because of the way it's set up.  Take the page in your link.  What does Prom 5: Messiaen, Dusapin & Beethoven mean?  Everything they ever wrote?  You have to click on the link to see which works are actually on the programme, who's performing, who's conductng etc, etc.  Doing this for all the concerts is hardly most people's idea of scanning for items of interest.

Compare with last year's layout - admittedly not so neat but with all the info for the week visible at once:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/2010/whatson/season/?week2

If there is anything like that on this year's site I have been unable to find it.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Reiner Torheit on April 15, 2011, 11:12:48 am
I look on the Proms Site for an introduction that tells us the themes and preoccupations that lay behind the season.

As usual, I find nothing.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Jim Penn on April 15, 2011, 11:16:29 am
I look on the Proms Site for an introduction that tells us the themes and preoccupations that lay behind the season.

As usual, I find nothing.

Speaking of the themes, I see there's a page with headings for each of the themes, which allows one to see all the concerts grouped together under that theme. Click on the one for "French music", and the first item listed is the performance of "William Tell"!  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Selva Oscura on April 15, 2011, 11:39:40 am
I was particularly taken with the prominent "Less Information" buttons. All websites should be required to have them.
And some r3ok posts too I reckon. (Not yours of course.)
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: SimonH on April 15, 2011, 11:41:18 am
Much of the programming seems dependent on what orchestras are touring on the circuit & who has a CD to market. I suppose the only way to properly break with that would be to redesign the Proms entirely (& not to concentrate them in the RAH). That's not going to happen, & what remains is a concert series with some interesting gigs not a festival.

The best new music prom by miles is the one with Aperghis - Champ-Contrechamp and Birtwistle - Angel Fighter, and that's been shoved into a Saturday matinee slot.  :(

Yes I was pleased to see Aperghis included. Though as you say shoved into a matinee slot, safely away from the main event.

Roger Wright's only "idea" seems to be accessibilty. Or: there's all this music people can go to in one place & you can Prom cheaply. If they would stop pretending it was some cultural event of extraordinary "greatness" then that could certainly be defended. It seems a weak use of the sort of patronage the BBC still has with the Proms, though.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: autoharp on April 15, 2011, 12:15:03 pm
But there are a number of rather tasty things happening, you miserable lot! A goodly dose of Mahler and Liszt for starters - who's applauding the inclusion of both the Faust symphony and the Dante Symphony? Oh, there have been a few thumbs-up for Norrington and Mahler 9, but the Bolivars are doing 2 and 6 is coupled with the Strauss Burleske. And there's the whole of Daphnis + Chloe and some Grainger. Yes, of course there are things wrong - too much solo stuff in an inappropriate space eg Hamelin playing Liszt): unimaginative choice of music from the last 50 years: anniversaries other than the most obvious missed (Allan Pettersson?).
Details - will the film proms include music by Bernard Hermann and Nino Rota - both born 1911?. Will the Stan Kenton evening include his more "experimental" stuff? Probably not.
But this sort of thing happens every year, doesn't it? We're all going to the Gothic aren't we?

Strangest 2nd half programming: Alexader Nevsky(Prokofiev) followed by Dance of the seven veils(Strauss) 30/7.
Most pointless piece to perform in the Albert Hall: Reich Clapping music 10/8.
Noticeably absent unless I've missed it: Rite of spring, but La mer (in an otherwise interesting Haystacks programme) and The planets are there as usual.
Cripes factor: Comedy Prom.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on April 15, 2011, 12:28:38 pm
who's applauding the inclusion of both the Faust symphony and the Dante Symphony?

I will be, auto; when I see the listings.  In fact I'll take your word that both are on the list and applaud now.  Clap, clap, hurrah, hurrah.  Before I went to the BBC Phil/Noseda performance in Manchester a few weeks ago I hadn't so much as seen the Dante advertised in decades; so two performances in a year is a treat.  It's just a pity we have to wait for an anniversary. 

I've postponed trawling through the site until the weekend but, while I empathise with those who would like a more adventurous approach to modern music that's not a major priority for me and some of the pieces I've seen mentioned here leave me optimistic.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: oliver sudden on April 15, 2011, 01:08:16 pm
I see that YET AGAIN Graupner has been COMPLETELY overlooked.

I'd go see the Gothic if I could. I have a score of that, you know. Don't miss Angle Grinder Anklebiter Angel Fighter either. I played in the premiere of that. In the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. Do I get smartie points?
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on April 15, 2011, 01:27:06 pm
There can be little doubt that the highest quality audio generally available for Radio 3 is the HD Sound stream. However, that only functions at the time of the broadcast, (well it works most of the time). During the Proms, many who would treasure decent quality 'saves' in 'HD Sound' will be attending the concerts, so unable to access the facility. I will aim to save many of the concerts I do not attend, and would welcome PMs from any UK residents who aim to do likewise with a view to cooperation.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: perfect wagnerite on April 15, 2011, 01:35:00 pm
... In the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. Do I get smartie points?

The Brighton Youth Orchestra played Rimsky's Sheherezade in the Thomaskirche a couple of summers ago.  I'm reliably informed they discovered they'd set up the percussion on Bach's grave ....  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: JSC on April 15, 2011, 01:38:45 pm
click 'what's on' and you get a week-by-week overview, with great big forward and back buttons at the top and bottom of each page
But in previous years you could get a week-by-week full listing (not just overview). As far as I can see now you can only get the full listing for each concert one by one.

Quote
The best new music prom by miles is the one with Aperghis - Champ-Contrechamp and Birtwistle - Angel Fighter, and that's been shoved into a Saturday matinee slot.  :(
I'll be in Kuala Lumpur then anyway. :D
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Jim Penn on April 15, 2011, 01:56:42 pm
Was just looking at the Composer listings page for 2010 - it listed each composer, and under their name it listed each piece of theirs that was being played (hyperlinked to the full listing for the appropriate concert). This year's page has an alphabetical list of composers, but no other information. Click on a composer, and it takes you to a list of concerts featuring their works. But even then you've still got to click into each individual concert to see what piece is being played. I believe the appropriate internet-speak response here is fail.

Speaking of those lists of composers, a quick and rough count reveals something like 145 composers featured in 2010, compared to about 120 this year - a not very scientific indicator of this year's series being much narrower in scope.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: IRF on April 15, 2011, 02:42:49 pm
Click on the one for "French music", and the first item listed is the performance of "William Tell"!  :facepalm:

Well, it's sung in French apparently.

Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: j-rmit on April 15, 2011, 04:46:01 pm
Don't know why people are having difficulties navigating the site, btw - click 'what's on' and you get a week-by-week overview, with great big forward and back buttons at the top and bottom of each page. Works well for me:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/whats-on/2011/july-15

Well, trj, I'm not having trouble navigating as such; it's just that it's taking a very long time because of the way it's set up.  Take the page in your link.  What does Prom 5: Messiaen, Dusapin & Beethoven mean?  Everything they ever wrote?  You have to click on the link to see which works are actually on the programme, who's performing, who's conductng etc, etc.  Doing this for all the concerts is hardly most people's idea of scanning for items of interest.

Compare with last year's layout - admittedly not so neat but with all the info for the week visible at once:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/2010/whatson/season/?week2

If there is anything like that on this year's site I have been unable to find it.

I think we must scan for different things - composer names are all I care about on a first pass, so 'Messiaen, Dusapin, Beethoven' tells me exactly what I need to know before I look into more detail. Others' mileages will vary.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Roehre on April 15, 2011, 05:13:29 pm
Was just looking at the Composer listings page for 2010 - it listed each composer, and under their name it listed each piece of theirs that was being played (hyperlinked to the full listing for the appropriate concert). This year's page has an alphabetical list of composers, but no other information. Click on a composer, and it takes you to a list of concerts featuring their works. But even then you've still got to click into each individual concert to see what piece is being played. I believe the appropriate internet-speak response here is fail.

Speaking of those lists of composers, a quick and rough count reveals something like 145 composers featured in 2010, compared to about 120 this year - a not very scientific indicator of this year's series being much narrower in scope.

Have a look here: http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?1856-Alphabetical-list-of-Composers (http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?1856-Alphabetical-list-of-Composers)
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: JSC on April 15, 2011, 06:00:05 pm
Have a look here: http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?1856-Alphabetical-list-of-Composers (http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?1856-Alphabetical-list-of-Composers)
Ooh now that's useful isn't it :)

Although it's a pity the inclusion of Christian names for living composers skews the alphabetical order. (The exception being Judith Bingham, who's inexplicably treated as if she were dead! :o)

Also: Birtwistle Angel Fighter missing, as is the Aperghis work. Is it because they're in a matinee?
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on April 16, 2011, 10:33:00 am
I think we must scan for different things - composer names are all I care about on a first pass, so 'Messiaen, Dusapin, Beethoven' tells me exactly what I need to know before I look into more detail. Others' mileages will vary.

That would only work negatively for me, trj.  If I saw J. Strauss, Lloyd Webber*, Nyman I'd be happy to skip the listing.  To take just the example you give, M Argerich et al in the Triple Concerto would leap off the page at me from a weekly or monthly listing in a way that 'Messiaen, Dusapin, Beethoven' can't possibly do.

My point, though, is that last year's (and all recent years' listings) have provided for those of us who want to scan the full programmes by week or month and this year's doesn't.   

* even there, I might be misled.  I see Ormskirk Music Soc is giving William Lloyd Webber'a Aurora a rare outing in June and I must admit my curiosity is aroused.  It's unlikely to be worse than his son's work, I'm thinking.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Il Grande Inquisitor on April 16, 2011, 10:50:07 am
Andrew Slater's single page of Proms listings should prove helpful:

http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?1861-Printable-Proms-Listings (http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?1861-Printable-Proms-Listings)
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Stanley Stewart on April 16, 2011, 03:28:52 pm
My copy of the PROMS 2011 prospectus has arrived, today, £3 90p from Amazon - 9p less than the initial advertised price.   I've always retained back copies as they remain essential reference material.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on April 17, 2011, 09:17:49 am
Andrew Slater's single page of Proms listings should prove helpful:

http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?1861-Printable-Proms-Listings (http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?1861-Printable-Proms-Listings)

Thanks IGI; that’s rather more convenient for a quick overview.  It doesn’t look that bad a season to me – certainly, I’d like to attend  more concerts than I can afford to travel for!  Apart from the Gothic, the Faust, the Dante and the Triple Concerto I singled out the opening Prom with Liszt’s 2nd concerto and the Glagolithic Mass; Prom 9 with Andras Schiff doing Bartok 2 coupled with Janacek’s Sinfonietta etc; two evenings with Runnicles and the BBCSSO including a full Daphnis & Chloe, Four Last Songs, Brahms 2 etc; a late night with Nigel Kennedy playing solo Bach; another late night with Angela Hewitt, the BBCSSO, Brahms & Schumann;  yet another with Marc-André Hamelin and Liszt; Prom 41, Purcell & Britten with a good looking list of solo singers;   Prom 70 coupling Birtwistle VC with The Planets.  I’m pretty sure I can’t get to all of the above but I’ll do my best and I’ll have my radio and/or minidisc recorder in action for those I can’t attend.  And there are others that are nearly as attractive - even Joe Zawinul gets a credit!  Not a great deal of contemporary music, I agree; but then I don’t really look to the Proms for that.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: alywin on April 19, 2011, 12:59:40 am
Noticeably absent unless I've missed it: Rite of spring,
You have :).  It's somewhere near the beginning.

I'm always happy to listen to the full Daphnis, but will have to walk out before the interval, as unfortunately we have the "£$%"£^$"$& Bolero in the same programme.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Il Grande Inquisitor on April 19, 2011, 11:02:25 pm
Wandering into Waterstone's today, I succumbed and bought the full Proms Guide; well, it is nice to have it to hand during the season and there are some decent articles in there. I was delighted to discover a very full guide to proms premieres by our very own ...trj... - well written and will certainly tempt me to sample the works introduced during the season.

Today, I met a friend who's away at uni at the moment but sings with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain. She's insanely excited about singing in the Mahler 2 Dudamel Prom and I can't say I blame her. Certainly one I'd like to get along to the RAH for.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: j-rmit on April 20, 2011, 12:50:54 pm
I was delighted to discover a very full guide to proms premieres by our very own ...trj... - well written and will certainly tempt me to sample the works introduced during the season.

:-*

I only hope the new pieces sound roughly how their composers described them to me (unlike the Birtwistle Vn Conc., which wasn't at all what I had imagined)!
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Il Grande Inquisitor on May 07, 2011, 05:17:27 pm
Booking opened today - online, by phone or in person from 9am... so, if you were working and without internet access? Seriously dischuffed with this system and that there's no postal application system at all, and I missed out on the Brian 'Gothic' and Mahler 2. Tickets for William Tell restricted to seats 'on high' where the sound is crêpe, so I'm considering promming, although standing through Tell will be a challenge! I am reviewing the Verdi Requiem, though, so it's not all doom and gloom.

On the other hand, it's rather heartwarming to hear how the Gothic sold out so quickly, sending a clear message to Roger Wright... 'Why did it take so long to programme it?'
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: davetubaking on May 07, 2011, 05:23:30 pm
Booking opened today - online, by phone or in person from 9am... so, if you were working and without internet access? Seriously dischuffed with this system and that there's no postal application system at all, and I missed out on the Brian 'Gothic' and Mahler 2. Tickets for William Tell restricted to seats 'on high' where the sound is crêpe, so I'm considering promming, although standing through Tell will be a challenge! I am reviewing the Verdi Requiem, though, so it's not all doom and gloom.

On the other hand, it's rather heartwarming to hear how the Gothic sold out so quickly, sending a clear message to Roger Wright... 'Why did it take so long to programme it?'

Gosh I was lucky then to get my £12 rear circle seat for the gothic. It took about ten minutes to get onto the site and then I was 2400+ in the queue and it took nearly an hour to submit my request.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on May 07, 2011, 06:04:19 pm
Booking opened today - online, by phone or in person from 9am... so, if you were working and without internet access? Seriously dischuffed with this system and that there's no postal application system at all, and I missed out on the Brian 'Gothic' and Mahler 2. Tickets for William Tell restricted to seats 'on high' where the sound is crêpe, so I'm considering promming, although standing through Tell will be a challenge! I am reviewing the Verdi Requiem, though, so it's not all doom and gloom.

On the other hand, it's rather heartwarming to hear how the Gothic sold out so quickly, sending a clear message to Roger Wright... 'Why did it take so long to programme it?'

Gosh I was lucky then to get my £12 rear circle seat for the gothic.

Huh! Why not stand up and take it like an mensch? ;)
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: davetubaking on May 07, 2011, 08:49:07 pm
Booking opened today - online, by phone or in person from 9am... so, if you were working and without internet access? Seriously dischuffed with this system and that there's no postal application system at all, and I missed out on the Brian 'Gothic' and Mahler 2. Tickets for William Tell restricted to seats 'on high' where the sound is crêpe, so I'm considering promming, although standing through Tell will be a challenge! I am reviewing the Verdi Requiem, though, so it's not all doom and gloom.

On the other hand, it's rather heartwarming to hear how the Gothic sold out so quickly, sending a clear message to Roger Wright... 'Why did it take so long to programme it?'

Gosh I was lucky then to get my £12 rear circle seat for the gothic.

Huh! Why not stand up and take it like an mensch? ;)
well I'd stand if I had to - but fortunately I don't. Anyways Brian is a composer who famously worked from the bottom upwards so I think sitting is the best way to listen.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Don Basilio on May 07, 2011, 08:55:45 pm
I hope to stand, and wait for any arrows to be shot at me.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on July 15, 2011, 02:30:00 pm
Just heading off to join the arena queue for the first night.  How annoying that the Proms Plus event is ticket-only and fully booked.  It's never full until they send the staff over to recruit people from the queue so why don't they split the allocation in half instead of pandering to people who book but don't show up?

That's enough negativity.  I just had a pleasant lunch at the Japan Centre in Regent St (the bit below Piccadilly Circus, not the Northern part running down to Oxford Circus).  They have a loss-leader on Miso soup at 50p per cup and I also got a salmon rissole type thing (£1.60) and a huge vegetable tempura creation (£1.40) - making a decent lunch for £3.50.  Seating is very basic (indeed you might struggle to find a seat at busy times) but at those prices you'd be lucky to get grub from a supermarket to eat in the street or park.  Recommended, especially for those on a tight budget like mine:

http://blog.japancentre.com/2009/12/01/explore-the-new-japan-centre-on-regent-st/

hope to see some of you in the queue/arena over the coming weeks.

Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: marbleflugel on July 15, 2011, 05:21:18 pm
Enjoy-and Thanks for the Japan centre trip (although I'd have thought it'd be overrun with students at those proces). It's the Gothic tonight isnt it? I have a muso meeting but iplayer defo.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: SimonH on July 15, 2011, 06:14:59 pm
It's the Gothic tonight isnt it? I have a muso meeting but iplayer defo.

That's Sunday, marbs. Tonight it's Weir Brahms & Liszt (oh be still my aching sides) & Janáček's Glagolská mše. I'd like to hear the Janáček - Part I looks very bitty. 
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: kleines c on July 15, 2011, 06:52:12 pm
Well, I hope they sober up on time, SimonH.  Writing in 'The Mail', Rick Jones argues that Glastonbury is so middle class.  The Proms are the music festival with real street cred.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2014581/Glastonbury-middle-class--Proms-festival-real-street-cred.html

PS  It has just been pointed out that the Glastonbury site is to be ploughed up to grow wheat next year, not an attractive option for the Royal Albert Hall, though whether the subsequent crop will fall within current limits for organic contaminations remains to be seen.

Funnily enough, this year was the first for many when a tonne of milling wheat could fetch enough to buy one a ticket to Glastonbury, not to mention a season ticket to the proms.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on July 15, 2011, 07:52:20 pm
It's about time Boughton operas returned to Glastonbury.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: chivhu on July 15, 2011, 10:08:58 pm
That's Sunday, marbs. Tonight it's Weir Brahms & Liszt (oh be still my aching sides) & Janáček's Glagolská mše. I'd like to hear the Janáček - Part I looks very bitty. 

Very true - I would have liked to have heard a bit more Benjamin Grosvenor, who gave a phenomenal performance of the Lizst. (and the encore).  But the Janacek was the highlight of the night: Czech conductor, Czech soloists... tremendous, uplifting as well as really virtuosic.

PS Katie Derham got in early on the Brahms and L reference and as usual gave a good intro.  It's nice to have someone who actually is knowledgeable about music instead of jyst following a script.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: perfect wagnerite on July 15, 2011, 10:19:37 pm
The Janacek was good, I thought - a performance of real power and impact.  I particularly enjoyed David Goode's knockout organ solo - and it was excellent to see Jan Martinik, one of the real stars of the 2009 Cardiff Singer of the World, singing the bass solos.

TV presentation seemed fine - people at certain other MBs get terribly worked up about Katie Derham for reasons I can can never fathom; she always seems to me to do a perfectly professional and decent job.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on July 15, 2011, 11:56:27 pm
Good to hear the new critical edition of the Janacek. Broadly similar to the Wingfield edition, but with some glaring differences, such as the omission of the Intrada at the start.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: marbleflugel on July 16, 2011, 12:57:59 am
Recalling her days at Classic FM.I suspect it was just a very well rehearsed script, but at least she made the effort. I hope to squeeze in to hear the Gothic, Thanks Guys.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on July 16, 2011, 07:40:34 am
A few practical observations (hope to report on Prom 1 when I have more time but I will say for now that the Janacek sounded wonderful from the Arena):

....Glastonbury site is to be ploughed up to grow wheat next year, not an attractive option for the Royal Albert Hall....

Well, someone has decided this would be an appropriate time to plough up Exhibition Road so anyone going to/from the RAH/South Ken station should note that it might take extra time because pedestrians are reduced almost to single file as they approach Prince Consort Road.  Those who know the way from Gloucester Road might find it more convenient to get off the tube there.

I hope to squeeze in to hear the Gothic, Thanks Guys.

A slip of paper was given to prommers yesterday warning that "Due to the staging and production requirements for 'The Gothic' on Sunday, Prom 4 will have limited Promming capacity.  For this Prom we will not sell to the Arena or Gallery day queues until 20 minutes before the concert subject to availability"

Obviously they don't think the usual system will allow them to guarantee entry to season ticket holders so if a huge number of STHs turn up then day places might be very limited.  Otoh they might frighten so many people away that the Arena & Gallery don't fill up at all!  I'm taking no chances so I grabbed a couple of returns from the Box Office and will be deserting the Arena for the Stalls.  But anyone thinking of day promming might want to consider turning up very early.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on July 16, 2011, 08:32:18 am
The two previous RAH performances of The Gothic did not involve any noticeable reduction in the seating area of the Arena. Why its capacity should be reduced for this performance eludes me. I can see how offering the four additional bands, rather than grouping them into two as in the previous RAH performances, might possibly affect the Gallery, but even then, not by much.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: marbleflugel on July 16, 2011, 09:44:56 am
HtoHe, Thanks for the heads up on the travel situation. I'd really like to hear this live, but I can imagine the extremists among the front of house staff having a field day. A relay screen in Kensington Gardens would be a good idea for the big stuff I'd have thought, or even cinema licensing as with the Met.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: chivhu on July 16, 2011, 12:04:24 pm
Recalling her days at Classic FM.I suspect it was just a very well rehearsed script, but at least she made the effort. I hope to squeeze in to hear the Gothic, Thanks Guys.

She has has some musical training, which makes a difference.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on July 16, 2011, 05:07:09 pm
The two previous RAH performances of The Gothic did not involve any noticeable reduction in the seating area of the Arena. Why its capacity should be reduced for this performance eludes me.

According to the Box Office person, Bryn, the platform is being extended into the Arena.  How true this is will, I presume, emerge tomorrow.

Recalling her days at Classic FM.I suspect it was just a very well rehearsed script, but at least she made the effort. I hope to squeeze in to hear the Gothic, Thanks Guys.
She has has some musical training, which makes a difference.

I've always assumed Katie Derham was a presenter, not an expert and, that being the case, as long as she has a basic interest in the subject and does her homework for each individual concert I can't see what there is to criticise.  It would be different if she were fronting, say, Discovering Music; but there's nothing wrong with a professional presenting the proms as a proxy for the viewers who can't get to the hall.  I have more of a problem with the likes of Charles Hazlewood - who does know his stuff and and actually did well in the Discovering Music strand - doing his rather patronising imitation of an enthusuastic punter.  Is BBC4 still using this kind of hyperactive style?
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: alywin on July 17, 2011, 12:29:50 am
Well, someone has decided this would be an appropriate time to plough up Exhibition Road so anyone going to/from the RAH/South Ken station should note that it might take extra time because pedestrians are reduced almost to single file as they approach Prince Consort Road.  Those who know the way from Gloucester Road might find it more convenient to get off the tube there.
But they've been doing that non-stop since 2009, haven't they?  Or do they just wait for these 8 weeks or so of the year in order deliberately to foul up our fun?
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on July 17, 2011, 10:27:42 am
Well, someone has decided this would be an appropriate time to plough up Exhibition Road so anyone going to/from the RAH/South Ken station should note that it might take extra time because pedestrians are reduced almost to single file as they approach Prince Consort Road.  Those who know the way from Gloucester Road might find it more convenient to get off the tube there.
But they've been doing that non-stop since 2009, haven't they?  Or do they just wait for these 8 weeks or so of the year in order deliberately to foul up our fun?

London roadworks are a constant pain, alywin, and the provision made for pedestrians seems to get worse and worse; but until recently the worst Proms-related obstruction I've come across has been the seemingly permanent building site to the South of Hyde Park that forces pedestrians back to Scotch Corner and to cross to the Brompton Road if they want to continue going West.  I haven't passed there this year; I wonder if they've finally finished.  There might have been minor obstructions on Exhibition Road in previous years but on Friday I was very shocked to see the road and the western pavement closed  so that any of the 5000-odd RAH audience who wanted to get to the S. Ken subway were forced along a narrow corridor from Prince Consort Rd, across the closed Exhibition Rd and onto the eastern pavement.  I had used Gloucester Road on the way to the Prom so didn't have any advance warning.  I'll be using Gloucester Road in both directions tonight!
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Il Grande Inquisitor on July 17, 2011, 12:03:53 pm
Leaving via South Kensington wasn't too bad last night as I was out pretty quickly to avoid the scrum, but arriving was horrendous - attempting to get into S Ken subway was near impossible as hundreds were emerging (presumably from the museums); the queue to get to the ticket barriers went all the way down the subway steps and beyond. No sign of crowd control by London Underground.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: perfect wagnerite on July 17, 2011, 01:38:49 pm
The two previous RAH performances of The Gothic did not involve any noticeable reduction in the seating area of the Arena. Why its capacity should be reduced for this performance eludes me. I can see how offering the four additional bands, rather than grouping them into two as in the previous RAH performances, might possibly affect the Gallery, but even then, not by much.

This picture of the final rehearsal has been published by Tom Service on Twitter, showing how far the platform extends into the arena:

(http://s3.amazonaws.com/imgly_production/1508255/large.jpg)

It's a huge pity that this one-off occasion is not being televised.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: marbleflugel on July 17, 2011, 07:13:30 pm
Some wonderfully nifty tuba playing in the opening moments, and Brabbins is co-ordinating very tightly.Very well-written.
It seems tasteless as the piece unfolds to mention Boris' lacklustre attempts to bill utility companies for the inconvenience they cause with roadworks-but herewith we are above such things.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on July 17, 2011, 11:29:27 pm
The two previous RAH performances of The Gothic did not involve any noticeable reduction in the seating area of the Arena. Why its capacity should be reduced for this performance eludes me. I can see how offering the four additional bands, rather than grouping them into two as in the previous RAH performances, might possibly affect the Gallery, but even then, not by much.

This picture of the final rehearsal has been published by Tom Service on Twitter, showing how far the platform extends into the arena:

(http://s3.amazonaws.com/imgly_production/1508255/large.jpg)

It's a huge pity that this one-off occasion is not being televised.

Though a spokesperson for the Hall management insisted otherwise, I reckon the area of the Arena lost to the orchestra, conductor and soloists was roughly equivalent to that gained by the removal of the fountain and associated pool and seating. The season ticket holders were all let in before ticket selling to the day queue began. The front of the Arena was thus entirely taken over by the season ticket holders. As I expected, there was no need whatever for the special admissions arrangements. There was more than enough room in the Arena for all who wanted to stand there. Indeed, I was near the centre of the available area and had a fair bit of room around me.

A petition to Wright objecting to the special treatment of the season ticket holders at this Prom has been organised (and signed by many season ticket holders, as well as day ticket purchasers). Basically the decision to mess around with the standard arrangements for simultaneous admission of both queue was down to incompetence on the part of those assessing the area available. Apparently, on the First Night, some Promenaders had their food and drink confiscated and binned. This likely illegal action by the Hall management has since stopped.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Thompson1780 on July 18, 2011, 12:27:56 am
Some other staging notes, for those of you listening by radio.

If you imagined yourself stading in the middle of the arena (in the middle of the logo on the floor), then Brass band 1 and 2 were in the stalls to your left  (Band 1 behind Band 2).  Band 4 was behind Band 3 in the stalls to your right.  Between Bands 1&2 and the back of the first violins were the girls' choirs.  Between Bands 3&4 and the back of the celli were the boys'.

The 4 vocal solists walked on in the closing bars of the 3rd movement.  Susan Gritton left the stage before the end of the 4th movement to take her place in the Gallery (up to the left abve the chorus as you looked from the arena) for the 5th movement solo and vocalise.  The 8 trumpets in that movement were in the gallery above the chorus on the right.

To get the scale of what you were listening to, that was 9 clarinets playing in unison in the last movement over a side-drum.  Each of the brass bands had 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2trombones, 2 tubas and 4 timpani.  The main orchestra also had two timpani players on 4 drums each, so you were listening to 28 kettledrums.  And lots of percussion.

Tommo

Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Ambrotia on July 18, 2011, 05:10:31 am
Thanks for describing how it was in the hall Tommo. A big disadvantage listening on the radio and I did my very best to appreciate this piece but I'm afraid I couldn't.
There were some magical moments to be sure but - for me - mostly flooded out by a general turgidity.

I don't really think it was just down to the loss of the spatial effect. It's a kind of massed and chromatic writing that doesn't appeal to me at all, it doesn't make me sorry I missed it live. But that's just my taste, I can imagine for some people this to have been a magnificent night!


Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: davetubaking on July 18, 2011, 06:52:16 am
Yes it was a marvellous night. Indeed a marvellous day for me as I was able to get into the morning rehearsal. So much to marvel at in just the spectacle of the thing. I reckon there were just under 1000 performers. 150 in each of the four choruses about 150 in the boys and girls choirs and 200 in the orchestra and bands (or rather four brass octets). The Gothic is indeed a flawed masterpiece. The loudest and the quietest bits tend to be the best. The tenor and bass arias don't work for me. The massed "la la la"-ing" is cringeworthy. The ending is very moving and there was a wonderfully long silence from the audience. The choirs were brilliant although not perfect. The children's choruses were very good. And as for the ten tubas and two euphoniums - well they did not disappoint. The two on stage tubas had the time of their life and sounded magnificent. Although even ten tubas couldn't compete with the AH organ pedals.

It's incomprehensible why it wasn't televised.

I was very luck to have sat next to someone who had been to three other performances, 1966, 1978 and 1980 and had the programmes with him and other Gothic memorabilia. He was of the view this was easily the biggest and best of the four he's now seen.

I understand there was a radio interview with Martin Brabbins does anyone know the details so I can get it on iplayer.

The other thing which was annoying was the number of empty seats. We know it was sold out within 3 hours but there were dozens/hundreds of the best stall and box seats empty. Grrrr!
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Notoriously Bombastic on July 18, 2011, 08:39:13 am
Long time no see all.

The Gothic is indeed a flawed masterpiece ..... The two on stage tubas had the time of their life and sounded magnificent.

Agreed and agreed.  Much to think about from last night. 

One nice memory - the mezzo soloist's stony face cracked into great big grin at the end of the 5th movement as she was overwhelmed by how simultaneously awesome and silly it was.

A visual effect that made the hair on the back of the neck tingle was the choirs standing at the climax of the 3rd movement.  Theatre not music, but still...

There was also a lot of empty space in the Arena.  I got the impression on the opening night that hall management were selling tickets too slowly (when as day ticket 220 I entered just 15 minutes before stick down).  If that was also true last night it could have meant hundreds of people were turned away unnecessarily, which would be pretty shameful.

NB
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: marbleflugel on July 18, 2011, 08:56:29 am
I was sifting and writing my own stuff quite quickly yesterday, but my gut instinct, new to it, is that it hangs together pretty consistently and projects consistently-it might seem daft on the ground at times. I'm listening to Stuart Hall at the moment, and Brien seems to square up to his task the way Hall does some epic derby.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: davetubaking on July 18, 2011, 11:02:31 am
Ivan Hewitt was enthusiastic;

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/classicalconcertreviews/8644874/BBC-Proms-2011-Prom-4-Havergal-Brians-Gothic-Symphony-Albert-Hall-review.html

And this little gem will stay with me for a long time;

"...a tuba at the back brought a whiff of an English farmyard." :laughter4:
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on July 18, 2011, 11:42:38 am
Are we not doing separate threads for each Prom this year, then?  Oh well.

The Gothic turned out to be unmissable not just in anticipation but inasmuch as, having been there, I'm very glad I didn't miss it.  It was a fabulous experience and I'm lucky enough to be inexpert enough not to notice many of the flaws in the 'flawed masterpiece'.  Davetubaking mentioned the mass la-la-ing and I must say that, though I have listened to the Naxos recording a few times, it wasn't until I heard it in the hall that it dawned on me that he had them la-la-ing in the middle of the Te Deum!  But, for all the flaws that others might notice, I can honestly say I found fewer langueurs than in some pieces a fraction of the Gothic's length.  It was exciting, impressive and, at times very beautiful; and the audience brought the performers back for many, many bows even though, obviously, there was no prospect of an encore.  I don't really want to single anyone out but the sheer scale of the thing means it must be hats off to Mr Brabbins for keeping it all together.

As for the arrangements, I did wonder here earlier whether all the fussing might have discouraged some people and I might have been right because the arena looked rather loosely packed and the queues never looked all that long.  I suspect everyone got in: does anyone know?  I'm not allowing myself to regret buying tickets but I must say I was gazing enviously at a well-behaved arena audience - especially when the stalls staff decided the end of the second movement was a good opportunity to try and seat latecomers.  Very disruptive in my opinion.

Just a couple of other points.  It is a pity the event wasn't televised, but wouldn't that have shrunk the arena even more?  I suspect that's why the decision was made.  As for the first night: on entering the arena people were told that bottled water would be allowed in the arena but food would have to be left in the cloakroom.  I didn't see any sign that confiscation was an official policy though, of course, that might have been the alternative offered to those who couldn't/wouldn't go to the cloakroom.  I'm in two minds about this.  Some staff can be over-officious but in recent years I've seen staff struggle, both at the RAH and ROH, to get people to take their food out of the auditorium to eat it so perhaps they felt the best solution was to stop it getting in in the first place. 

Off to the cadogan now....

Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Reiner Torheit on July 18, 2011, 03:44:30 pm
Quote
It is a pity the event wasn't televised, but wouldn't that have shrunk the arena even more?  I suspect that's why the decision was made

If only :(   
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: David Underdown on July 18, 2011, 05:25:29 pm
The major limitation on Arena capacity was I suspect, not available space, but the fact the two front exits were covered by the extended stage, thereby reducing the available evacuation routes. That said, the stage was back to where the fountain would be so I think more space probably was lost than would be taken up by the fountain. I understand though that these days it's largely evacuation rate that determines arena and gallery capacity, which have both been reduced from days past
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Thompson1780 on July 18, 2011, 11:10:21 pm
It was certainly an experience being there.  But I don't really think it was a good musical experience.

I think Ambrotia hits it on the head with the word turgid.  I agree with what most of Davetubaking and NotoBombo say too, but to differing degrees.  It was a marvellous evening, but not for the right reasons!  I think it is a flawed piece, and wouldn't give it the distinction of masterpiece.  It has wonderful moments, but they are just too infrequent.  There were two occasions when I had to catch my breath - the organ at the end of the first movement, and the full chorus letting rip alone toward the end of the last movt.

Performance wise, I thought the violins were pathetic.  How often do you get to play that work?  Once in a lifetime....  So why just sit there and go through the motions?  After desk 2, I didn't see any gumption or verve in how they played, no pressure, tension at all.  There was no definition in their sound and we just ended up with blancmange on top of a firm and defined celli base.

Whilst the brass and percussion (esp, lead Xylophone) were great., the wind playing just seemed standard - nothing exciting, poised, mysterious.....

But I imagine a lot is down to Havergal Brian himself.  I just had the impression all the way along that he was composing and thinking "oh, what can I throw in next".  2 hours and where was the structure discernible to the ear?  What was he trying to say?  Sorry - didn't get it.  I witnessed it but wasn't part of it / changed by it.

Still, some positives:  Despite being 2 hours long, it was the only piece in a concert which started at 7.00.  So it was still light when we left the hall, and i could walk across Hyde Park to Paddington.  Caught train and was home in time for the Star Wars ROTJ episode of Family Guy.

As you were

Tommo
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: SimonH on July 19, 2011, 06:54:57 am
I tried to listen to the 'Gothic' on the iPlayer yesterday, which obviously isn't satisfactory (& is very unsatisfactory in a work of such large forces). Ambrotia's word "turgid" seems right to me, I'm afraid. There's quite an attractive clarinet riff about 80 minutes in ... I wanted to like it, given Havergal Brian's biography; & there's something splendid I suppose about going through with writing it. But my impression was of stuff thrown together with nothing actually distinctive or other, indeed, than mediocre about the stuff.

For me the proximity in terms of concert scheduling of Janáček's Glagolská mše was cruelly revealing: an idiosyncratic composer with a genuinely original method & intent, & the ability to realise it overwhelmingly. I found the Brian dispiriting :(.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on July 19, 2011, 07:41:06 am
I concur with the content of message #122 (http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?1854-Prom-4-Sunday-17th-July-2011-at-7.00-p.m.-%28Brian-The-Gothic-%29&p=68596#post68596).
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Don Basilio on July 19, 2011, 04:10:57 pm
A Facebook exchange:

Eruanto:  is sticking his neck out in support of the gothic symphony. hugely entertaining.

Don B:  I'm looking forward to you playing the piano transcription.

Eru: Don B, thank you for that chuckle.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Don Basilio on July 19, 2011, 04:14:05 pm
Are we not doing separate threads for each Prom this year, then?  Oh well.

It would be more convenient if we did.  All that needs to happen is the first person who posts on the subject of a prom to start a new thread.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Lion-of-Vienna on July 19, 2011, 05:29:01 pm

The other thing which was annoying was the number of empty seats. We know it was sold out within 3 hours but there were dozens/hundreds of the best stall and box seats empty. Grrrr!

I was in a box where one of the seats was unoccupied.  A lady in front of me spent the entire concert alternately flicking aimlessly through her programme and playing solitaire on her phone.  Meanwhile by the start of the third movement another person in front of me was fast asleep!  As you say - Grrrr!
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on July 19, 2011, 09:00:47 pm
Those who listened via the radio, or online, were robbed of much of the dynamic range and impact of the score. Very heavy dynamic limiting was applied to FM, DAB, and even the iPlayer HS Sound stream, and by "very heavy" I refer to the peak level being at around -12dB below saturation (clipping) level, and when viewed in an audio editor, most of the peaks for and effective flat-top. A strange aspect of this is that the presentation introduction and closing commentary were not dynamically limited to anything like the same extent. It was as if a pop music producer was at the mixing desk.

Over at the Radio 3 Forum, johnb has posted screen grabs of the 'fingerprint' of the HD Sound version, (see message #25 in this thread (http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?2632-Prom-1-HD-Sound-Severely-Limited-Clipped&highlight=sound)). I get exactly the same result, and the DAB fingerprint is very similar indeed. All in all, a right mess was made by the audio engineering team hired by the BBC. A similar mess was made of the First Night's audio. Fortunately, Proms 2, 3 and 5 appear to have largely escaped this inept meddling with the dynamics. I will check tonight's offering later.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on July 19, 2011, 09:05:19 pm

The other thing which was annoying was the number of empty seats. We know it was sold out within 3 hours but there were dozens/hundreds of the best stall and box seats empty. Grrrr!

I was in a box where one of the seats was unoccupied.  A lady in front of me spent the entire concert alternately flicking aimlessly through her programme and playing solitaire on her phone.  Meanwhile by the start of the third movement another person in front of me was fast asleep!  As you say - Grrrr!

I must say I was a bit surprised at the easy availability of returns.  I had planned to queue for the Arena while my friend, who was dashing from Gatwick on the afternoon of the Prom actually booked a weekend Gallery pass – which was the only pre-booking available the day after booking opened – against the very strong probability that he would arrive too late to secure a day ticket.  When the stewards handed out the warning slips to day prommers on the Friday I figured that I would just have to start queuing especially early but then I met someone I’ve chatted with a few times in the arena queue over the years and he said he had bought a ticket and that the box office had plenty of returns.  This turned out to be quite true so I made a decision on behalf of my friend and bought two stalls tickets at £28 each.  They seemed to have returns at all prices from £20-£32, though none of the cheaper seats (not that I’d have wanted to chance the Circle for this event).
It does seem rather strange that such an instantly attractive Prom which (unlike last night’s) hadn’t undergone any significant changes of personnel should suddenly have lots of spare capacity.  I speculated on this and my favourite explanations were:
Lots of people liked the idea as a bit of a novelty but their enthusiasm waned as the time neared, they thought of other things they’d prefer to do and sent their tickets back for resale.or;
Very few debenture holders were interested and their seats became available after the ‘sold out’ was announced or (my favourite):
Lots of touts found themselves with handfuls of tickets for which there was less demand than they anticipated.  This would also explain why the online booking facility was showing ‘no tickets available’ on Sunday morning and yet there were quite a few empty seats.
As for the behaviour of people in boxes: I have often noticed them eating, drinking, talking and moving around (though not, as yet, sleeping) during the performance.  I suppose it’s the behaviour of people for whom the performance is not of primary interest   That said, though, the last time I was actually in a box I found the people there extremely decent.  It was for the Proms Walküre with Domingo, Meier, Terfel etc (another instant sell-out for which I got a ‘return’ with surprising ease) and the seat I was sold was at the back of the box, almost in the cloakroom area (the boz office don’t tell you this, nor is that seat any cheaper than the others) and the other people in the box actually rearranged their chairs so I could get a better position.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on July 19, 2011, 10:14:17 pm
I was in the bell of the clarinet.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: autoharp on July 24, 2011, 12:49:40 pm
Having just returned from holiday, I've read no reviews and the only reaction has been what I've read on this thread. I'm surprised that nobody seems to have compared it with other performances/recordings or indeed really commented on the quality of the performance. I did hear it on the radio and was rather perturbed by a number of the musical decisions. In the old Boult recording, the orchestra just about make it whereas the choirs don't really: some of the conductor's musical decisions, however, really hit the spot. Times have moved on but there probably hasn't been a performance where the choirs haven't struggled (they certainly seemed to on this occasion) and it's always tiresome to be made aware of competition at times when a few solo voices are operating simultaneously. There was some pretty good performance happening, but it didn't seem to be sustained: and there were numerous musical opportunities missed. So I'm wondering about the effectiveness of the conductor, not so much in his marshalling of the forces but in regard to his musical vision. I'd previously thought Brabbins was (often but by no means always) pretty able . . .
Could someone provide a link to a useful newspaper (?) review?
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: autoharp on July 27, 2011, 09:58:55 am
Could someone provide a link to a useful newspaper (?) review?

Oh . . . right. There isn't one.
Nobody seemed to have done their homework. Concert reviewers, eh?
Tut tut.

Has anybody ever commented on Havergal Brian's ability to modulate to ever-sharpening keys?

I've attended the last two night's proms (Mahler 9/Norrington and Liszt Faust Symphony/Jurowski) both of which were terrific. I do hope somebody else had a good time too.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: ahinton on July 27, 2011, 10:23:48 am
Could someone provide a link to a useful newspaper (?) review?

Oh . . . right. There isn't one.
Nobody seemed to have done their homework. Concert reviewers, eh?
Tut tut.
Oh, yes there are!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jul/18/prom-4-gothic-symphony-review
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/classicalconcertreviews/8644874/BBC-Proms-2011-Prom-4-Havergal-Brians-Gothic-Symphony-Albert-Hall-review.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/classical/reviews/prom-4-brian-gothic-symphony-royal-albert-hall-2315646.html
http://www.theartsdesk.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=4137:havergal-brians-gothic-symphony-bbc-concert-orchestra-bbcnow-brabbins-royal-albert-hall&Itemid=27

Then there's Geoff Brown in The Times' 19 July edition:
As the Albert Hall burst its sides with two merged orchestras, 17 percussionists, four auxiliary bands and more than 800 voices climbing up toward the dome, it was hard to decide which was the more extraordinary: the effort that Havergal Brian first put into composing his monster Gothic Symphony in the 1920s, or the BBC’s effort in reviving this legendary creation.

In both cases there’s no doubt that the effort was worth it. You can debate whether Brian, the isolated, awkward cuss of 20th-century British music, should have spread his ambition over 110 minutes — minutes that are often disjointed or thick with polyphonic uproar. But those nocturnal labours through the 1920s, writing under a green-shaded table-lamp, still gave us something vital and unique.

For this is a British work of such swirling fantasy, singular textures and heaving emotions that by the end you feel as if the top of your head has been blown apart. That was certainly the impression left on Sunday by the logistically immaculate and resonant account fearlessly conducted by Martyn Brabbins.

This was the sixth complete mounting of the score since its belated premiere in 1961 and must have been Britain’s best-prepared performance, certainly its most vigorously sung. Phil Spector’s wall of sound had nothing on Brabbins’s as choir upon choir pitched into jaunty jubilation or joined in reflective multipart tapestries, sometimes suggesting mock-Palestrina.

In moments of dramatic uproar Verdi and Berlioz were invoked; brass and timpanists sprayed us with bullets; a xylophone went haywire; harps and solo violin went folksy. In the midst, Susan Gritton’s soprano and Peter Auty’s tenor led the way through Brian’s floridly expressive solo lines in the epic setting of the Te Deum, an extraordinary 75-minute kaleidoscope of exultation and despair.

Where did this work come from? What does it mean? It can only be understood, I think, as a tortured response to the Great War, as a vast edifice constructed in memory of civilisation’s past and in outrage and fear over its future. Brabbins, backed by his batallions, made Brian’s shock and awe triumphantly tangible. I still wish that the symphony were shorter, but this was definitely a night to remember.

(pity about the oddly spelt battalions, but one can't have everything, I suppose)...

And then there's
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/239f8298-b1f7-11e0-a06c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1T9rB63Op
http://www.operatoday.com/content/2011/07/havergal_brian_.php
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/newsandevents?id=8852

Not that I'm vouching for any of the content, mind...
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Bryn on July 27, 2011, 10:54:45 am
I've attended the last two night's proms (Mahler 9/Norrington and Liszt Faust Symphony/Jurowski) both of which were terrific. I do hope somebody else had a good time too.

I didn't see you at the Mahler, which I too thought terrific (though the usual suspects elsewhere (plus some less suspicious posters) certainly did not). I was unable to get to last night's but will be there this evening.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: perfect wagnerite on July 27, 2011, 11:03:50 am
Wasn't able to get to the Mahler as I had hoped, and moreover wasn't able to listen to the live relay uninterrupted ... however I've now caught up via iPlayer (which seems to be my default Proms mode this year) and I thought it was terrific too.

The vibrato issue is turning into a real red herring - the R3 announcer also fell into the trap of saying there would be no string vibrato when that has never been the point.  What makes Norrington's Ninth so compelling for me is the fact that it is (to my ears anyway) so structurally coherent, and the way he opens out the textures - which may have quite a lot to do with the orchestral layout.  I've seen that some of the comments at the other place suggest that the tempo for the fourth movement was too slow, but to my ears - coming after what went before and growing out of it - it seemed absolutely right.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Reiner Torheit on July 27, 2011, 11:23:23 am
I've seen that some of the comments at the other place suggest that the tempo for the fourth movement was too slow

(http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/50286_317763114570_6594747_q.jpg)
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: marbleflugel on July 27, 2011, 11:51:12 am
 :D.Being at homewith an ague, I've just tried to complete an opinion survey on the proms website. After I commented that there was no info at all about new works, my connection timed out mysteriously.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: ahinton on July 27, 2011, 12:04:32 pm
I've attended the last two night's proms (Mahler 9/Norrington and Liszt Faust Symphony/Jurowski) both of which were terrific. I do hope somebody else had a good time too.

I didn't see you at the Mahler, which I too thought terrific (though the usual suspects elsewhere (plus some less suspicious posters) certainly did not). I was unable to get to last night's but will be there this evening.
I trust that the level of suspicion attributable to me is on the low side, but I certainly did and do have issues with as much of that Mahler 9 performance as I was able to hear. I could not attend and, unfortunately, I had to miss the entire first movement and the beginning of the second in the broadcast, so anything I said or say is inevitably subject to that rather substantial caveat, but whilst I am far from lacking in sympathy for at least some of the comments about use of vibrato, this was by no means my principal concern - not even about the string playing in general, which all too often seemed to me to be intonationally challenged and thin. Some of the tempi seemed hasty, especially in the Adagio (although at least the tempi, if little else, more or less redeemend themselves by the time it reached its closing pages) and the sense of line - of moving inevitablty and inexorably from one statement to the next - and that of the thoughtful shaping of longer phrases came across to me less than in this performance than in any other that I have heard of this work. As to that vibrato question, whilst you are correct in stating that, on occasion, Mahler specified his requirements as to its use or non-use in scores, he certainly didn't do this for all his string writing, otherwise those scores would be littered with additional performances directions relating to that alone.

Whilst it can be interesting in itself to observe someone's approach to performing this symphony on the basis of his/her perceptions as to how Mahler might have intended it to sound (not that he ever actually heard his Ninth Symphony in live performance, of course), I do believe that it's worth giving due consideration to the changes in requirements that occurred between the composition of his First and incomplete Tenth symphonies, especially as that particular symphonic journey was a very long one in terms of how different Mahler's treatment of the orchestra was in the latter work than in the former.

Not only that, what bothers me from time to time from certain HIPP quarters is firstly the notion that listeners can accordingly think themslves into the environment of the time in order to be able to listen to this work from a century ago as though their lives and musical experiences were those of a hundred years ago (or that the fact that they can't and they aren't is of no consequence) and secondly that The Composer Is Always Right. As to the first, I recall Robert Simpson once saying that one cannot listen and respond to Bach as Bach's contemporary audiences would have done because we have listened to Xenakis (and somehow I doubt that RS mentioned Xenakis all that often!) and, as to the second, not only do I know only too painfully well as a composer that The Composer Is Not Always Right but I am also aware that Mahler himself must have felt the same, otherwise why would have have made so fundamental a change to the original order of movements in his Sixth Symphony (misguidedly, in my view, but that's neither here nor there) during rehearsals for its première?

Anyway, I can honestly say that I have never been so unmoved by a performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony as I was by this one - and it is a work that I have adored ever since first hearing it.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Ted Ryder on July 27, 2011, 12:29:34 pm
 Here goes, contrary Ted again.
 I listened yesterday to the whole performance and I agree that vibrato is a red herring as indeed is speed. Labels are also pretty meaningless if, that is, Norrington and Klemperer can both be termed  "amoral" conductors.
 OK you hear more detail with Norrington but why detail? I want emotion-I don't want English introspection;  I want abandon not symphonic form. In fact I found Norrington's cool "this is what is written" objectivity distasteful, the last movement, for me, was more self-indulgent than anything Lenny could throw at you. This was the nub of the problem for, along with Klemperer's "amoral" comment, he also said, dismissively, that Walter was "too Jewish".Mahler can be over Bernsteined it can't be too Jewish. Norringtons performance was Low-Church CofE if not Non-Conformist. I trust I'm not a "usual suspect" but I do think the usual suspects have a point. Just seen AH's post :hthumbupr:
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: SimonH on July 27, 2011, 12:56:56 pm
I recall Robert Simpson once saying that one cannot listen and respond to Bach as Bach's contemporary audiences would have done because we have listened to Xenakis (and somehow I doubt that RS mentioned Xenakis all that often!)

No, but you can use your imagination & capacity for empathy (if you have them), & combine those with research to develop understanding & knowledge. Or you can think your own imaginative horizons absolute & refuse the possibility of anything outside them.

I'll watch the BBC4 broadcast of Norrington's Mahler 9 tomorrow (I couldn't listen to it at the time). I have the CD & for me the Adagio is one of the most unflinchingly exact & uncompromising & true &, actually, heartfelt performances of anything I've heard. After it some other accounts sound (to me) a bit glib, I'm afraid.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Selva Oscura on July 27, 2011, 01:15:31 pm
why detail?
... but why not?

Firstly: "detail" is probably one of the things I appreciate most in a musical performance, not "at the expense of" expressivity but as a means of expressivity. I want (usually) to be able to hear everything that's going on in an orchestral performance. Anything else constitutes a kind of obfuscation (perhaps from the best of motives). What I mean is: a composer, at least in the period encompassing Mahler and the present time, puts into a score those things which he/she thinks will, sympathetically realised and brought out, set in motion a musical event realising his/her structural/poetic precepts. (The idea of the composer being "right" or "wrong" doesn't really come into it.)

Secondly: attempting to give an insight into (not necessarily to "reproduce") the kind of orchestral sound the composer might have been familiar with is surely as valid a project as making a kind of orchestral sound the composer would certainly not have been familiar with (even though he "might have preferred it" - if the laws of physics were different from those we have).

Thirdly (and most importantly): miraculously, after a Norrington performance, Mahler's score still exists! Nothing is destroyed, nothing desecrated, nobody comes to any harm, the whole possible range of interpretation is still there to be further explored by performers and listeners.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: ahinton on July 27, 2011, 01:22:18 pm
I recall Robert Simpson once saying that one cannot listen and respond to Bach as Bach's contemporary audiences would have done because we have listened to Xenakis (and somehow I doubt that RS mentioned Xenakis all that often!)

No, but you can use your imagination & capacity for empathy (if you have them), & combine those with research to develop understanding & knowledge. Or you can think your own imaginative horizons absolute & refuse the possibility of anything outside them.
Allowing (hopefully with good reason!) that your use of the pronouns "your" and "you" are intended to mean "one's" and "one", are there really no other possible alternatives to the two that you posit here? Whilst bringing an "imagination & capacity for emapthy" combined with "research" to bear on Mahler's Ninth Symphony is all very well when making a study of its score in the wider context of the performance traditions and expectations of its time, I don't quite see how this will do a great deal to help, let alone influence the responses of, the majority of its listeners, especially those first-time listeners who cannot read music and whose knowledge of immediate pre-WWI performance traditions and expectations is less than that of the average professional musicologist; indeed, to suggest (not that I'm saying that you're doing so) that having full recourse to these faculties is necessary to any valid appreciation of that symphony might well put off some people on the grounds that they feel insufficiently well equipped to approach it.

Thinking one's own imaginative horizons to be absolute runs entirely counter to the kind of thing about which I wrote above when I referred to the composer not always being right; composers' imaginative horizons will usually metamorphse over time, just as those of performers and listeners will do, in which context one could well imagine, for example, that Rakhmaninov might have played his first set of Preludes rather differently when they were relatively new than he would have done towards the end of his life.

Anyway, it is surely Mahler's imagination first and foremost that we're dealing with here! - and what I wrote is only my honest opinion at the time of writing rather than something that I could possibly see as in any sense "absolute".[/quote]
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: ahinton on July 27, 2011, 01:27:23 pm
why detail?
... but why not?

Firstly: "detail" is probably one of the things I appreciate most in a musical performance, not "at the expense of" expressivity but as a means of expressivity. I want (usually) to be able to hear everything that's going on in an orchestral performance. Anything else constitutes a kind of obfuscation (perhaps from the best of motives).

Secondly: attempting to give an insight into (not necessarily to "reproduce") the kind of orchestral sound the composer might have been familiar with is surely as valid a project as making a kind of orchestral sound the composer would certainly not have been familiar with (even though he "might have preferred it" - if the laws of physics were different from those we have).

Thirdly (and most importantly): miraculously, after a Norrington performance, Mahler's score still exists! Nothing is destroyed, nothing desecrated, nobody comes to any harm, the whole possible range of interpretation is still there to be further explored by performers and listeners.
I endorse all of the above - all of which makes excellent sense - notwithstanding my own remarks about the performance which I would like to think can still stand alongside what you've written here. As to "detail", there's no point in loading a score with "detail" unless it serves a useful purpose as part of its fabric; Mahler, whose attention to detail was as fastidious as anyone's, almost certainly knew this as well if not better than many composers and conductors and, let's face it, over-writing and obfuscation are certainly not things of which one could ever credibly charge Mahler!
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Ted Ryder on July 27, 2011, 01:44:54 pm
 It is, no doubt, a subjective matter whether one hears "detail" as an integral part of a homogeneous performance or a pedantic distraction. :)
 I don't know if your second paragraph is directed at me for I would not question a word of it. It is Norrington's performance I have problems with not the forces or form he uses to deliver it, indeed I said that vibrato was a red herring. Nor do I think the conductor is desecrating anything I just find his interpretation. a complete no no.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: SimonH on July 27, 2011, 01:50:15 pm
Allowing (hopefully with good reason!) that your use of the pronouns "your" and "you" are intended to mean "one's" and "one", are there really no other possible alternatives to the two that you posit here? Whilst bringing an "imagination & capacity for emapthy" combined with "research" to bear on Mahler's Ninth Symphony

The Simpson remark you cite is about Bach, not Mahler (I recall Robert Simpson once saying that one cannot listen and respond to Bach as Bach's contemporary audiences would have done because we have listened to Xenakis (and somehow I doubt that RS mentioned Xenakis all that often!) & it was performing Bach I had in mind (that being what the remark was about :)).

Yes, "one" & "one's" of course.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: autoharp on July 27, 2011, 01:57:40 pm
Could someone provide a link to a useful newspaper (?) review?

Oh . . . right. There isn't one.
Nobody seemed to have done their homework. Concert reviewers, eh?
Tut tut.
Oh, yes there are!

Many thanks for those links, Alistair. Not for the first time, I've submitted an ambiguous post. Emphasis should have been on the word useful. I had sought out the usual suspects so had read the reviews from the Guardian, Telegraph etc. Clements, for instance, was useless: he didn't need to have either been there or heard the broadcast to produce what he wrote. Several others were little better, but David Nice at The Arts Desk was certainly more interesting.
I'm amused by this xylophone stuff. I'm in the fortunate position of possessing a recording of Josef Matthias Hauer's opera Salambo which features said instrument far more prominently.

When I arrived for the Mahler, my heart sank. I hadn't clocked that the seats I'd booked were high up in the Circle, almost at balcony level. I expected the orchestra to sound half a mile away  (as it memorably did for a performance of Turangalila a few years back - I was nearer the orchestra for that one). But strangely enough it didn't. What's more, the clarity of the sound was fairly extraordinary for the Albert Hall - I could hear pretty much everything that happened, something I put down both to the way the instruments were played and how they were positioned (eg., double basses at the middle back, horns and percussion stage right and the rest of the brass plus timps + cymbals stage left. Only once, early on, did the strings get drowned out.
Mind you, I hardly know the piece at all, so what's my opinion worth?

Last night, the chappie who played the Bartok concerto decided to play an encore. I don't know what it was (it sounded like Liszt). Now the Albert Hall is lousy for solo piano. Play a load of loud notes and stick the sustain pedal down and you're on to a real loser. If he really had to play an encore, play pedal-less Bartok for Chrissake - like the Allegro Barbaro. So not too much clarity there.
Nor did I understand why Norrington felt it necessary to get his string section to play an Elgar Elegy as an encore after Mahler 9. Having been taken on a journey which went some distance into the world of perpetual modulation, I felt vaguely resentful at having to witness what came over as a powder-puff featuring almost entirely functional harmony. But then, Falstaff apart, I find most Elgar pretty tiresome.


Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: ahinton on July 27, 2011, 01:59:20 pm
Allowing (hopefully with good reason!) that your use of the pronouns "your" and "you" are intended to mean "one's" and "one", are there really no other possible alternatives to the two that you posit here? Whilst bringing an "imagination & capacity for emapthy" combined with "research" to bear on Mahler's Ninth Symphony

The Simpson remark you cite is about Bach, not Mahler (I recall Robert Simpson once saying that one cannot listen and respond to Bach as Bach's contemporary audiences would have done because we have listened to Xenakis (and somehow I doubt that RS mentioned Xenakis all that often!) & it was performing Bach I had in mind (that being what the remark was about :)).
Sure - but doesn't the cap fit nonetheless? - by which I mean that one could reasonably substitute the name of Mahler for the name of Bach in that context?
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: ahinton on July 27, 2011, 02:03:07 pm
Could someone provide a link to a useful newspaper (?) review?

Oh . . . right. There isn't one.
Nobody seemed to have done their homework. Concert reviewers, eh?
Tut tut.
Oh, yes there are!

Many thanks for those links, Alistair. Not for the first time, I've submitted an ambiguous post. Emphasis should have been on the word useful.
You did indeed write "useful" - and I did not completely ignore it when I appended to my post the caveat "Not that I'm vouching for any of the content, mind...". It is indeed disappointing that the best performance that the symphony has had to date has elicited so little of value from critical circles...
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: autoharp on July 27, 2011, 02:17:33 pm
Was it? So is this wrong?

I'm surprised that nobody seems to have compared it with other performances/recordings or indeed really commented on the quality of the performance. I did hear it on the radio and was rather perturbed by a number of the musical decisions. In the old Boult recording, the orchestra just about make it whereas the choirs don't really: some of the conductor's musical decisions, however, really hit the spot. Times have moved on but there probably hasn't been a performance where the choirs haven't struggled (they certainly seemed to on this occasion) and it's always tiresome to be made aware of competition at times when a few solo voices are operating simultaneously . . .  there were numerous musical opportunities missed. So I'm wondering about the effectiveness of the conductor, not so much in his marshalling of the forces but in regard to his musical vision. I'd previously thought Brabbins was (often but by no means always) pretty able . . .
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: perfect wagnerite on July 27, 2011, 02:26:43 pm
I've seen that some of the comments at the other place suggest that the tempo for the fourth movement was too slow

(http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/50286_317763114570_6594747_q.jpg)

Sorry.  That should have been "too fast".   :facepalm: :( ::)
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: ahinton on July 27, 2011, 02:36:21 pm
Was it? So is this wrong?

I'm surprised that nobody seems to have compared it with other performances/recordings or indeed really commented on the quality of the performance. I did hear it on the radio and was rather perturbed by a number of the musical decisions. In the old Boult recording, the orchestra just about make it whereas the choirs don't really: some of the conductor's musical decisions, however, really hit the spot. Times have moved on but there probably hasn't been a performance where the choirs haven't struggled (they certainly seemed to on this occasion) and it's always tiresome to be made aware of competition at times when a few solo voices are operating simultaneously . . .  there were numerous musical opportunities missed. So I'm wondering about the effectiveness of the conductor, not so much in his marshalling of the forces but in regard to his musical vision. I'd previously thought Brabbins was (often but by no means always) pretty able . . .
Sorry, auto - was it what? Indeed, was what what? I don't quite understand. You wrote that you are "surprised that nobody seems to have compared it with other performances/recordings or indeed really commented on the quality of the performance" and I exprressed not so much surprise as "disappointment" that the critics didn't give us much of any value about the entire proceedings although, to be fair, most of them seened to believe that the performance was pretty decent, barring a few occasional choral mishaps. But maybe I've not quite yet gotten the stick of which I could get the wrong end...
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: autoharp on July 27, 2011, 02:43:24 pm
Was it
the best performance that the symphony has had to date
?
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: ahinton on July 27, 2011, 02:50:57 pm
Was it
the best performance that the symphony has had to date
?
Ah - now I understand! Well, whilst I should perhaps have added the words "probably" and the phrase "in my view" (because I've not yet heard last December's one in Brisbane), it's certainly the best that I've heard.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: autoharp on July 27, 2011, 03:35:14 pm
OK, so you're probably disagreeing with

I . . .  was rather perturbed by a number of the musical decisions. In the old Boult recording, the orchestra just about make it whereas the choirs don't really: some of the conductor's [Boult's]  musical decisions, however, really hit the spot. Times have moved on but there probably hasn't been a performance where the choirs haven't struggled (they certainly seemed to on this occasion) and it's always tiresome to be made aware of competition at times when a few solo voices are operating simultaneously . . .  there were numerous musical opportunities missed. So I'm wondering about the effectiveness of the conductor, not so much in his marshalling of the forces but in regard to his musical vision.
?
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: ahinton on July 27, 2011, 04:14:42 pm
OK, so you're probably disagreeing with

I . . .  was rather perturbed by a number of the musical decisions. In the old Boult recording, the orchestra just about make it whereas the choirs don't really: some of the conductor's [Boult's]  musical decisions, however, really hit the spot. Times have moved on but there probably hasn't been a performance where the choirs haven't struggled (they certainly seemed to on this occasion) and it's always tiresome to be made aware of competition at times when a few solo voices are operating simultaneously . . .  there were numerous musical opportunities missed. So I'm wondering about the effectiveness of the conductor, not so much in his marshalling of the forces but in regard to his musical vision.
?
Up to a point, yes - at least to the extent that, the occasional choral waywardness aside, the Brabbins performance seemed to me (at least) to be as persuasive and accurate as any that I've heard - and rather more so than some in certain particulars; I think also that, were Brabbins to be offered a few more opportunities to conduct the work (I'm just interrupting my typing of this to look out of the window at the herd of airborne wild boar as they pass out of eyeshot), his performances would mature rather well and that vision might accordingly become clearer than you seem to feel that it was at his Prom performance. I certainly agree with you that the struggling of the choirs in all the performances that I've heard is a factor, but I'm not convinced that this is down to shortcomings in the composer's technical ability in handling large choral forces.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: chivhu on July 27, 2011, 05:44:21 pm
ahinton, You've raised an important issue at the end, the ability of composers to work out on the page the right balance so that what should be heard can be heard.  With  the involvement of choral forces as well this becomes more difficult still - even LvB didn't quite get it quite right in his 9th Symphony.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: ahinton on July 27, 2011, 05:59:24 pm
ahinton, You've raised an important issue at the end, the ability of composers to work out on the page the right balance so that what should be heard can be heard.  With  the involvement of choral forces as well this becomes more difficult still - even LvB didn't quite get it quite right in his 9th Symphony.
Well, as I wrote elsewhere (albeit in reference to Mahler's Ninth Symphony which of course involves no voices), Mahler's seemingly preternatural ability to get this right is beyond question - likewise in the case of Richard Strauss and those two early works of Schönberg that call for large forces, Gurrelieder and Pelleas und Melisande; in fact, it is one of the wonders of Strauss's operatic work that he manages to achieve as much fine balance as he invariably does between his vocal soloists and his orchestra irrespective of the size of the latter (witness Salome and Elektra in particular). Part of the problem with the realisation of Brian's choral writing in the Gothic, on the other hand, is that, if the full choral forces required are actually used (as in Prom 4), they occupy a considerable amount of physical space and, unless the majority of the singers have absolute pitch, the intonation of the choir as a whole can prove quite difficult to control, especially in extended a cappella passages; another aspect of that issue is that choral forces as large as these are never likely to be made up mainly of singers whose pitching ability is a match for such ensembles as Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart or BBC Singers whose wide practical experience working with challenging contemporary repertoire enables them to achieve what they do.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: marbleflugel on July 27, 2011, 06:13:12 pm
Brabbins has accepted the presidency of the HB society, so he seems to have won over the devotees.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: chivhu on July 28, 2011, 09:05:59 am
ahinton, You've raised an important issue at the end, the ability of composers to work out on the page the right balance so that what should be heard can be heard.  With  the involvement of choral forces as well this becomes more difficult still - even LvB didn't quite get it quite right in his 9th Symphony.
Well, as I wrote elsewhere (albeit in reference to Mahler's Ninth Symphony which of course involves no voices), Mahler's seemingly preternatural ability to get this right is beyond question - likewise in the case of Richard Strauss and those two early works of Schönberg that call for large forces, Gurrelieder and Pelleas und Melisande; in fact, it is one of the wonders of Strauss's operatic work that he manages to achieve as much fine balance as he invariably does between his vocal soloists and his orchestra irrespective of the size of the latter (witness Salome and Elektra in particular). Part of the problem with the realisation of Brian's choral writing in the Gothic, on the other hand, is that, if the full choral forces required are actually used (as in Prom 4), they occupy a considerable amount of physical space and, unless the majority of the singers have absolute pitch, the intonation of the choir as a whole can prove quite difficult to control, especially in extended a cappella passages; another aspect of that issue is that choral forces as large as these are never likely to be made up mainly of singers whose pitching ability is a match for such ensembles as Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart or BBC Singers whose wide practical experience working with challenging contemporary repertoire enables them to achieve what they do.

Ahinton, An abiding memory of an early performance of the 'Gothic' was the indomitable skill of Jane Manning in coping with the generally unsupported soprano line, with perfect tuning.  Her background in contemporary music performance helped, obviously; and that may be one reason why so many amateur choirs have difficulty with a cappella singing of modern works and so many simply avoid it for that reason.  Speaking from personal experience, one can be trained to maintain pitch, but it takes only one voice to throw out the rest of the choir.

I agree with you entirely about Mahler and Strauss.  With their expertise as conductors, you can understand how they got it right - although Mahler nevertheless made extensive revisions even so.  The recent press item on the MS of the Third Symphony showing these in red ink indicates this.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: alywin on July 30, 2011, 12:10:56 am
I hadn't clocked that the seats I'd booked were high up in the Circle, almost at balcony level. I expected the orchestra to sound half a mile away  (as it memorably did for a performance of Turangalila a few years back - I was nearer the orchestra for that one). But strangely enough it didn't. What's more, the clarity of the sound was fairly extraordinary for the Albert Hall - I could hear pretty much everything that happened, something I put down both to the way the instruments were played and how they were positioned (eg., double basses at the middle back, horns and percussion stage right and the rest of the brass plus timps + cymbals stage left.
Well, I'm no acoustician, so I don't know if this makes sense, but, as a Gallery Prommer, I've developed this theory that if you're sitting pretty much back against the back wall, you don't suffer from these acoustic problems the way that some people further down do, so perhaps that applied to you too?  Certainly I'm always a bit bemused by people complaining about the Hall's lousy acoustic, but perhaps I've just not got such a sensitive ear as some other people.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: ahinton on July 30, 2011, 07:34:18 am
ahinton, You've raised an important issue at the end, the ability of composers to work out on the page the right balance so that what should be heard can be heard.  With  the involvement of choral forces as well this becomes more difficult still - even LvB didn't quite get it quite right in his 9th Symphony.
Well, as I wrote elsewhere (albeit in reference to Mahler's Ninth Symphony which of course involves no voices), Mahler's seemingly preternatural ability to get this right is beyond question - likewise in the case of Richard Strauss and those two early works of Schönberg that call for large forces, Gurrelieder and Pelleas und Melisande; in fact, it is one of the wonders of Strauss's operatic work that he manages to achieve as much fine balance as he invariably does between his vocal soloists and his orchestra irrespective of the size of the latter (witness Salome and Elektra in particular). Part of the problem with the realisation of Brian's choral writing in the Gothic, on the other hand, is that, if the full choral forces required are actually used (as in Prom 4), they occupy a considerable amount of physical space and, unless the majority of the singers have absolute pitch, the intonation of the choir as a whole can prove quite difficult to control, especially in extended a cappella passages; another aspect of that issue is that choral forces as large as these are never likely to be made up mainly of singers whose pitching ability is a match for such ensembles as Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart or BBC Singers whose wide practical experience working with challenging contemporary repertoire enables them to achieve what they do.

Ahinton, An abiding memory of an early performance of the 'Gothic' was the indomitable skill of Jane Manning in coping with the generally unsupported soprano line, with perfect tuning.  Her background in contemporary music performance helped, obviously; and that may be one reason why so many amateur choirs have difficulty with a cappella singing of modern works and so many simply avoid it for that reason.  Speaking from personal experience, one can be trained to maintain pitch, but it takes only one voice to throw out the rest of the choir.

I agree with you entirely about Mahler and Strauss.  With their expertise as conductors, you can understand how they got it right - although Mahler nevertheless made extensive revisions even so.  The recent press item on the MS of the Third Symphony showing these in red ink indicates this.
Yes, I too recall Jane M's participation in that performance and I agree with much of what you write here, in that a choir full of Jane Mannings is hardly a likely possibility...
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: marbleflugel on July 30, 2011, 11:37:52 am
A choirful of JM's -there's a stirring thought. It is a unique experience hearing a choir slide, as i recall from my yoof- a  genteel patina of intoxication.
Acoustically, I felt what I heard of 'Der Wein' last night (client needed support when it was on) sounded remote and featureless, I'm sure it wasnt in the hall.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: autoharp on July 30, 2011, 02:46:40 pm
Proms 2011

Programmes - £3.50
Small bottle of water from the bar - £2.20
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on July 30, 2011, 09:14:08 pm
Proms 2011

Programmes - £3.50
Small bottle of water from the bar - £2.20

Programmes have been £3/£3.50 with libretto for a few years now so I suppose a price rise was inevitable sooner rather than later.  How much are they with libretto now, I wonder?  As with many things, though, it's come at a time when many of us have static, or even falling, income; which is very unfortunate.  To put things in perspective, though, I haven't visited a single London theatre with cheaper programmes.  IIrc, the Donmar's was £3.50 but elsewhere £4 was pretty general.  The ROH programme was already £7 when last I recoiled in horror and that was well over a year ago.  And, of course, none of them, afaik, offers the alternative of getting it online for just the cost of printing.  I know that's not practical for most people who want to read it in the hall but at least it is available after a fashion. As for bar prices; well I don't imagine you can get anything for £2.20 in most theatre bars - not that I've checked for a long time.  And the only theatre I know that offers mains water for free - as the RAH does - is Shakespeare's Globe. 

Of course, civilised halls like the Concertgebouw now offer free programmes and free hot and cold drinks at many, perhaps most, concerts.  But the very limited number of 'cheap' seats there start at about €20 so it's definitely a case of swings and roundabouts.  I think I've said in previous years that I'd much prefer the Proms to keep entrance cheap and let people make up their own minds about optional extras.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Reiner Torheit on July 30, 2011, 09:53:48 pm
The ROH programme was already £7 when last I recoiled in horror and that was well over a year ago. 

That's a price you can only call "predatory" - especially as what you get is just 2-3 essays, a cast-list, and three-dozen pages of glossy advertising for luxury watches, pens, and "wealth management portfolio banking" (which probably strikes a sourly ironic note with many).  I haven't been to the ROH in the past year, but ENO will give you a Cast List for free (if you ask an attendant - who has them hidden under her pile of glossy programs).  I am pretty sure the National Theatre also have free Cast Lists too.

I get a bit didactic about programs. ("Noooo, Reiner, really?  You, didactic?  You surprise me!").  In fact I think they are evil. Peter Brook famously said that "if you feel the need to explain something in the printed program, then you've failed.  The longer your program-note, the greater is your failure".  But it seems fair enough for people to get a Cast List (and similarly a full listing of all the players, for orchestral and ensemble performances), and for my own shows I insist that it's given out freely and willingly.  And the sponsors and donors deserve a mention in print for all they've done.  In fact I usually go through the hall ahead of the show, putting copies out on the seats.  But in fact that's just to give me something to do instead of sitting in a dressing-room biting my nails or having second thoughts about the light-settings :)
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on July 30, 2011, 10:15:46 pm
I haven't been to the ROH in the past year, but ENO will give you a Cast List for free (if you ask an attendant - who has them hidden under her pile of glossy programs).

Tbf, the ROH will, too; and if you know where to look (usually at the top of the stairs before you join the escalator to the amphitheatre; or on the reception desk in the main house) you don't even need to ask.  I generally don't object to cross-subsidy from programme sales; but £7 is going rather too far and I wouldn't dream of buying one even if all my horses had won that day.  However, it just occurred to me that one of the statements in my previous post was inaccurate for in the very same complex- at the Linbury - a very simple programme, enclosing a libretto that seemed to have been typed up and Xeroxed, was on sale at James (I blame the divorced parents) MacMillan's Clemency for less than £3.50.  IIrc it was £2.50 or maybe even just £2.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: alywin on July 31, 2011, 01:08:49 am
The ROH programme was already £7 when last I recoiled in horror and that was well over a year ago. 
Still is (unless they put the price up next season, but I think that'd be pushing it).  And that's for opera - ballet is £6. 

That's a price you can only call "predatory" - especially as what you get is just 2-3 essays, a cast-list, and three-dozen pages of glossy advertising for luxury watches, pens, and "wealth management portfolio banking" (which probably strikes a sourly ironic note with many). 

I have to say that, although I don't usually bother buying RO programmes (unless I'm planning on going more than once within a few years), a lot of the Royal Ballet ones have contained a lot of information.  Grabbing at the two nearest, one admittedly for a bill of three short works, the other being a "full-evening" ballet, they both have over 30 pages of information and photos, and that's not counting the artistic staff and dancers' biographies at the end (and, of course, the advertising helps keep the price down).  What I did think was a bit of a rip-off, though, was English National Ballet's programme for the Roland Petit triple bill last week: £8 for some (black + white, I think) photos, plus I think one brief-ish article on each of the 3 works, and the standard stapled-in list of dancers' biogs, which you may already have from a previous programme the same season.  I think that's an increase of £2 over the previous year - it certainly is over 2 years ago, when I last needed to buy a programme (and London programmes are already more expensive than they are in the regions).  A friend commented that she was willing to pay because they desperately need the money, which of course they do, but in that case why not make the extra money a donation, then it can be Gift-Aided at no extra expense.

And I can't remember the last time I went to an RO performance and couldn't pick up a cast sheet at the programme desk, irrespective of whether the casting is given in the programme or not.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: alywin on July 31, 2011, 01:17:39 am
And the only theatre I know that offers mains water for free - as the RAH does - is Shakespeare's Globe.

Royal Opera House, Coliseum (just don't try fighting your way through the dress circle bar to get to it), Festival Hall, Sadler's Wells, can't remember where else off-hand.  But the RAH is the only place which offers facilities for filling up your water bottle :)

Quote
Of course, civilised halls like the Concertgebouw now offer free programmes and free hot and cold drinks at many, perhaps most, concerts.  But the very limited number of 'cheap' seats there start at about €20 so it's definitely a case of swings and roundabouts.  I think I've said in previous years that I'd much prefer the Proms to keep entrance cheap and let people make up their own minds about optional extras.

Obviously the Barbican's half-civilised, at least.  They've been doing free programmes for both the Great Performers season and the LSO for years.  And I think the Philharmonia is still doing multiple-performance programmes? (you can certainly still get "cast sheets" from them).  OTOH, the Barbican has suddenly squeezed a lot of the cheaper band of seats in the balcony into the more expensive one. so they've effectively put the price up by around 50% on a lot of those.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on July 31, 2011, 08:56:10 am
But the RAH is the only place which offers facilities for filling up your water bottle

I didn't check out the Globe's facilities but I definitely saw notices telling audience members where free drinking water could be had.  So that's two out of the dozens of London venues I've attended - though there might be others I just haven't noticed.

And I think the Philharmonia is still doing multiple-performance programmes? (you can certainly still get "cast sheets" from them). 

The RLPO has programmes covering 3-5 concerts for £2.50.  I bet they go up next season.  10/10 is best of all: thin and without glossy covers but with decent pieces about the music, composers and performers and far fewer adverts than most.  At £1, they are only bettered by our concert society programmes, whose content is entirely written by knowledgeable volunteers.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: chivhu on July 31, 2011, 09:45:16 am
The RLPO usually provide notes on the works that subscribers can download and print for free - but you need to remember to check in the 36 hours or so they are available ahead of the concert.  You don't get details of the performers but these are available via Google anyway.  And I try to get to the pre-concert talk when it is on.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: marbleflugel on July 31, 2011, 07:06:21 pm
I wonder if anybody caught the (Brummy) JJ Wheeler quintet in the Elgar Room last night- considering RW doesnt like jazz and they probably don't float Jez' boat an expert bit of smuggling got them in. I would have detoured from my meeting had I spotted them, must try harder.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: HtoHe on August 07, 2011, 03:49:53 pm
Back to programmes and water: I noted that the NT programmes are all £3 and seem to consist of rather slim production-specific booklets encased in a generic outer booklet of adverts and acknowledgements.  They also have free cast/crew lists available for people who don't want a programme.  That seems a very reasonable arrangement to me; and, with this thread in mind, I checked the bar tarrif and was pleasantly surprised to see mineral water available at £1.50 (which is pretty dear for water but cheap compared with other venues; and they do, after all, have to pay the staff who serve it and clear up afterwards).  On the debit side, play texts in editions that look very similar to the ones I've seen on sale at the Everyman, Playhouse and other theatres for about £4-£5 are £9.99 in the NT shop.  To be scrupulously fair, though, some Everyman/Playhouse productions foist the text on you as they don't provide any other comprehensive cast/crew list at the theatre.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: Reiner Torheit on August 07, 2011, 05:06:20 pm
Back to programmes and water: I noted that the NT programmes are all £3

I'm sure that's the pricepoint of least resistance for NT playgoers.  I wouldn't quibble about 3 quid, although if there was a free castlist I'd still prefer that.  I'm sure that pricing programs higher than 3 pounds becomes a law of diminishing returns.
Title: Re: Proms 2011
Post by: alywin on August 12, 2011, 11:59:45 pm
Programmes for the Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet at the ROH at £10, but that does cover 6 different productions (how well, I know not - I'm trying to save space).  As they were, rather less justifiably, I suspect, for the recent bargain-basement version of Ashton's Romeo & Juliet with Osipova and Vasiliev at the Coliseum.