From the front Arena the Beethoven came across very well indeed, quite up to the BBCNOW's last week with a touch less sparkle. The quotes re woodwind are interesting, many conductors place them on the stage floor and first riser whereas to project in the Hall they do need to be higher. Conversely, when the Double Basses are on the stage much more bass sound results, presumably using the void below the stage as a Bass Woofer!
The Egyptian was excellent, in places faster and more exciting than the CBSO/Hough/Oramo recording on Hyperion. The first movement especially demonstrates to my mind what a decent composer he was, very little repetition of the soloists material with the evocative and imaginative second a joy - complete with the exotic "Cornet Separé" effect on a couple of occasions from the piano, an organist would know what I mean!!
The Dante came over as a far taughter piece than the Faust and when given the required excitement by a knowing conductor rather a surprise. I am still amazed the place was completely sold out though...
[/QUOTE]I am still amazed the place was completely sold out though... [QUOTE]
I should think it was the combination of Stephen Hough and Noseda's official farewell to the Phil that swung it rather than the works played. As it was the Saint-Saens and Liszt turned out to be unjustifiably neglected "ugly ducklings" that rematerialised as beautiful swans.
This was my first Promming Prom although I went for the less hip option of the gallery. I thought the acoustics were quite good up there (better than some places in the RFH) and really enjoyed the programme, which is why I went. I didn't know the Egyptian was little-played, because I have a recording of it so know it rather well, same for the Dante really. Interesting that having a name doesn't always give a piece over its "No. X in key" peers! Especially when one is about a journey into the afterlife. But then Purgatory can be a bit of a job to listen to, but the Magnificat is a tremendous release and the ethereal choir up the gallery did give a good sense of the sublime!
Glad you enjoyed your first Prom. Happy listening. My favourite spot is the arena about 15 feet behind the conductor. Any closer and the woodwind disappear in the wall of strings. I find the walkers in squeaky shoes put me off the gallery.