Monday 18 July 2016

Proms Away

“Is it that time already?” asked an astonished colleague when I pointed out the First Night of the 2016 Proms was upon us. From my own perspective, it’s always a time of year that brings a rush of good intentions – I will listen to more; I will attend more – as well as the usual moans about uninspiring programming from the usual quarters. And I always respond by pointing out the sheer range of music must surely be something to banish the easy cynicism of the terminally unimpressed. No, there aren’t  eighteen different obscure British symphonies, but like any large cultural event, the programmers can’t simply cater for the denizens of one particular online forum.

Just look at the opening weekend. A fairly standard opening concert, admittedly, with nothing (other than, perhaps, Sol Gabetta’s singing) to frighten the horses, but after that a Proms transfer for the ROH’s Boris Godunov (original version, no less) and an attempt at period Faure to round out the weekend. Just a few days in and already a lot to catch up on; it’s usually at this point that I realise I’m not going to live up to my good intentions…

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