qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Clocking On

As I queued for last night's Prom, I reflected that there is never very much Haydn on at the Proms, given how much he wrote. As the concert started with his Symphony No. 101 „Die Uhr“, it was apparent that the Royal Albert Hall doesn't always offer such a suitable acoustic; the opening movement might have been more at home in the Sheldonian or the Schloss Esterházy. Then again, maybe it was the BBC Symphony Orchestra; after all, The Sixteen didn't have problems a couple of weeks ago. But all was well for the second movement, famous for its tick-tock rhythm. Osmo Vänskä conducted rather in the manner of a demented mannequin.

I hadn't heard any Szymanowski, though after my holiday in July I knew where the body was buried. His Stabat Mater was dramatic and melancholic, obviously influenced by Mahler and Richard Strauss, with a hint of Janáček, but also foreshadowing Shostakovich and Britten in particular, I thought.

In the second half we had Joshua Bell performing Brahms' Violin Concerto. Bell is a decent enough fiddle player, but I do tire of the fangirls in the audience. I suppose he can't help being an irritatingly self-assured American, but I'd rather have a bit more variety as it's the third time I've seen him in three years (my selection of concerts having been based very much on the works rather than the performers in this case). He played his own cadenza in the first movement, which was an interesting change.

I returned home to see uitlander in a brief stopover as she headed west. Unfortunately on this occasion there was not really enough time to be sociable.
Tags: music
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