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Classical Source goes Proms-tastic!

Classical Source greets Roger Wright – Controller of BBC Radio 3 and Director of the BBC Proms – as the guest writer of the July and August editorial…

Welcome to the 2014 BBC Proms.

Roger Wright. Photograph: Chris Christodoulou Some things never change – not least the marking of the passing of summertime, by the start and end of each Proms festival.

However, this summer is going to be unusual for me. I’m leaving the BBC after the First Night (on July 18). I’ll still have the chance to hear all the BBC Proms – but this year, unlike the last seven, I won’t be sitting in the Royal Albert Hall. I shall instead have the opportunity to hear them all live (and exclusively) on the home of the Proms, BBC Radio 3.

I’ll miss the atmosphere of the Hall and the regular banter I enjoyed with the Prommers, but will enjoy the additional context which the broadcasts provide on radio, TV and online for the 76 Royal Albert Hall concerts and the 12 at Cadogan Hall.

I am pleased that, as in recent years, there is a considerable amount of British music. We have a focus on William Walton and a host of others – among them Alwyn, Bax, Bridge, George Butterworth, Elgar, Gurney, Moeran and Vaughan Williams.

A remarkable range and quality of music-making is now emerging in countries outside the established European and American centres, and this year we’re excited to welcome for the first time orchestras from China, Greece, Iceland, Lapland, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea and Turkey – a unique snapshot of the developing global classical music scene and more international orchestras than ever before.

Where else in one festival can you hear Daniel Barenboim one day and Paloma Faith on another, and enjoy Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate, then Peter Sellars’s staging of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, or explore contemporary works by Birtwistle and Maxwell Davies, the late John Tavener and many others? Where else, too, can you hear them all at such little cost? Promming tickets remain at £5.00 for the ninth year running, and seats start at just £7.50.

In addition to the live broadcasts on Radio 3, many are repeated on weekday afternoons, and this year 28 concerts are broadcast on BBC TV. All this is available to take pleasure in afterwards on BBC iPlayer Radio and BBC iPlayer. And, I am assured, Classical Source will do a great job in reviewing every Prom. However you experience the Proms, I hope you enjoy a summer full of thrilling musical experiences and lasting memories.

I head off now to take up the exciting new challenge of running Aldeburgh Music but will never forget the thrill of managing this great festival, the BBC Proms.

Roger Wright
For The Classical Source
July & August 2014
[posted July 11]
As for numerous previous seasons, Classical Source plans to review every concert of this year’s BBC Proms: July 18-September 13


BBC Proms 2014

about this prom Prom 44: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Davis with Truls Mørk – Don Juan, Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Symphonie fantastique
about this prom Prom 43: BBC Symphony Orchestra/Edward Gardner with Albina Shagimuratova, Stuart Skelton, Mikhail Petrenko and Baiba Skride – Scherzo fantastique, The Bells, Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto, 1812 Overture
about this prom Prom 42: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Manze with Roderick Williams and Allan Clayton – Rudi Stephan, Frederick Kelly, George Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad, Vaughan Williams’s A Pastoral Symphony
about this prom Prom 41: Aurora Orchestra and Nicholas Collon play Mozart 40 – with Alexandra Wood & Stevie Wishart Spinning a Yarn – and the world premiere of Benedict Mason’s Meld
about this prom Prom 40: LSO/Bernard Haitink with Camilla Tilling – Schubert 5 & Mahler 4

Proms Chamber Music

about this Prom PCM5: Anne Schwanewilms & Malcolm Martineau – Debussy and Richard Strauss
about this Prom PCM4: Janine Jansen, Sakari Oramo & Itamar Golan – Prokofiev & Schubert
about this Prom PCM3: London Winds play Mozart and Richard Strauss
about this Prom PCM2: C. P. E. Bach with Rachel Podger & Friends
about this Prom PCM1: Les Arts Florissants – Rameau’s Pièces de clavecin en concerts

Proms Saturday Matinee

about this Prom PSM2: Lapland Chamber Orchestra/John Storgårds with Håkan Hardenberger in Harrison Birtwistle’s Endless Parade
about this Prom PSM1: Armonia Atenea/George Petrou with Myrsini Margariti & Irini Karaianni – Greek Mythology and Baroque Opera

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Latest Concert & Opera Reviews

about this concert Mostly Mozart Festival in New York – David Zinman conducts Boyce, Mozart K364 with Joshua Bell & Lawrence Power, and Beethoven’s Eroica
about this concert Grimeborn Opera – Massenet’s Werther [Adam Tunnicliffe & Katie Bray; Arcola Theatre, London]
about this concert Mostly Mozart Festival in New York – Gianandrea Noseda conducts Beethoven’s Consecration of the House and Choral Symphony
about this concert Rutland Boughton’s The Immortal Hour [Finborough Theatre]
about this concert Mostly Mozart Festival in New York – Osmo Vänskä conducts Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Beethoven with Yuja Wang & Philip Cobb

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Latest CD & DVD Reviews

about this cd/dvd Music by Philip Sawyers – Symphony No.2, Cello Concerto – Orchestra of the Swan/Kenneth Woods with Maja Bogdanovic [Nimbus]
about this cd/dvd Heinz Holliger conducts Robert Schumann’s Complete Symphonic Works – Volume 2, Second & Rhenish Symphonies [Audite]
about this cd/dvd Dvořák Symphony Cycle Volume Four: Symphony No.2 – José Serebrier & Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra [Warner Classics]
about this cd/dvd Mendelssohn: Complete Works for Piano and Orchestra – Oleg Marshev [South Denmark Philharmonic/David Porcelijn; Danacord]
about this cd/dvd LSO Live – Colin Davis conducts Haydn – Symphonies 92 (Oxford), 93, 97, 98 & 99

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Latest Features

about this feature Tributes to Lorin Maazel (1930-2014) – from Edward Clark, Plácido Domingo, JoAnn Falletta, Tony Faulkner, Gillian Moore, David Whelton, and the New York Philharmonic, Orfeo, and the Salzburg Festival
about this feature Remembering Elaine Stritch (1925-2014)
about this feature Feature Review – English Haydn Festival 2014
about this feature Feature Review: New York Philharmonic Beethoven Piano Concertos Festival with Alan Gilbert, Yefim Bronfman, Glenn Dicterow & Carter Brey: plus new works from Anthony Cheung and Sean Shepherd
about this feature Feature Review – Call me George: a celebration of the life of George Harewood [English National Opera; conducted by Paul Daniel, Mark Elder and Edward Gardner]

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