qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Something Old, Something New

The queue was as disorganised as ever for Prom 7, the stewards were dishing out raffle tickets if you went to ask them but they were hardly proactive in the summer heat. That could have been unfortunate given that they were very strictly enforcing the queue order later, but it passed off without event.

The opening work was a premiere of the late Sir John Tavener's short work Gnosis for voice, flute and orchestra. It was certainly in keeping with his general style - both intense and austere at the same time - and I enjoyed it. Sarah Connolly was the mezzo-soprano and Michael Cox was the flautist.

I have to admit that the more Bartók I hear, the more I like, although I don't think he will ever be one of my favourite composers. Isabelle Faust joined the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the Violin Concerto No. 2 (up until recently, the programme informed us, known simply as the Violin Concerto; an earlier work had fallen into obscurity). It was a sparkling and energetic performance. She gave us a more contemplative encore, the Sarabande from Bach's Partita in D minor.

For the second half of the concert, an old favourite: Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10. It may not seem such good value to go and see a work again and again, but it's always interesting to hear the quirks in each performance. The woodwind were occasionally wobbly and Jiří Bělohlávek's tempi had some interesting speed-ups, but overall it was a splendid performance.

I wrestled over whether to stay for the Pet Shop Boys Prom, but in the end I decided the scheduled end time of 11:40 didn't leave enough to spare in the event of any over-run, so I'll be catching up with that on iPlayer in the next few days.
Tags: music
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