I agree that the programme is a bit of a mish-mash musically, even if there is some kind of historic link between the pieces - and maybe a bit on the long side, too. I mean - two substantial symphonies in one concert, for a start! I am going mainly for theBartok and specially for the Bax. Not even sure if I will stay for the Prokofiev! I think people will be impressed with Bax No. 2 - it's a powerful and brilliant work, and hopefully it will make people start asking why we don't hear these symphonies live more often. Bax was considered far and away the most important British symphonist after Elgar for a long time (and apart from Walton's two wonderful works, I think he still is!).
One point to 'Bax-of-Delights', though - unless my memory is playing tricks with me I am pretty sure I heard the 7th Symphony at the Proms some years ago. Which is no excuse for ignoring the other six, of course!
I've just checked the proms archive and no.7 was last performed - wait for it! - 60 years ago exactly. The most recently performed Symphony was no.5 in 1984 - just its second outing. Unbelievably no.1 was last performed back in 1930. Most performances of Bax symphonies ceased in the 50's, shortly after his death. Presumably it was assumed that since the Master of the Queen's Music was no longer around he could be safely ignored in favour of the more "hip" composers of the day. Ooh, where are they now I wonder?
As I am coming up from deepest Sussex for this one I may be tempted to vacate the hall before the Prokofiev. Queuing for the 52 and looking at the watch anxiously is not my idea of fun after what I hope will be an exhilirating evening.
Prokofiev's getting quite an airing this year, with another two symphonies in a week's time.
7pm to 10.30pm. The BBC don't think of the surburban prommer [why should they, the best people live nearby?] The proms Preview looks interesting. I shall split it all up on iplayer personally.
I shall be at this Prom tonight! I be coming in my casuals!!(!?!?!?) I be wearing a polo shirt grey in colour with horizontal white stripes, and black jeans. Maybe with a pint of Spitfire in my hand top!! Saw this on Sunday! Spitfire off tap! Gorgeous! See any of you there perhaps?
The programme is quite well connected as EA pointed out earlier. Can't wait! Hope I can get back alright!!
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life(Berthold Auerbach)
I've loved and admired Bax's 2nd Symphony for nigh on 25 years, when I acquired Jack Thomson's recording on Chandos: a most powerful and tempestuous masterpiece: it's all about his relationship with Harriet Cohen, whom I detest with a will. Since then I have Tod Handley on his complete set, and David Lloyd Jones on Naxos. Needless to say I haven't heard it live, and certainly not at the Proms. I've been re-reading Lewis Foreman's splendid biography in preparation.
Alas, this is why I won't be able to make it over from Germany for tonight's Prom: a tragedy I know, but I will listen in with a nice glass of wine in hand, and envy all those promenaders who will be hearing it for the first time. Believe me, it will knock their socks off.