Semiramide – overture
Symphony No. 1 in C major
Symphony No. 3 in C minor
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly (conductor)
Reviewed: 22 July, 2020
In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.
The sparkling overture from Rossini’s opera Semiramide opens this Prom given by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, led by Italian maestro Riccardo Chailly. Flexing his Beethoven muscles, Chailly gives his unique reading of the composer’s First Symphony – a work later captured as part of a complete cycle, recorded with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester from 2007 to 2009.
Rounding off the programme is Prokofiev’s striking Third Symphony. Written in 1928, it was a direct and spirited reaction to the disappointment Prokofiev experienced with his opera The Fiery Angel, whose first performance, accepted by Bruno Walter for Berlin, had been summarily and indefinitely postponed. Though the second act was given in a concert in Paris conducted by Koussevitzky in June 1928, the opera as a whole was not seen until 1954. Prokofiev rescued some of the material by developing it symphonically; the result is a work of great drama and intensity.
Read Past Reviews on the Classical Source
This performance was taken from the BBC Proms on 11th September 1990 – nine years before the Classical Source was born.