Prom 75: Last night of the Proms
I was successful in the Last Night of the Proms Five-Concert Ballot so I attended the most wanted concert in Britain. Of course expectations were high but keeping in mind the kind of party-concert it was supposed to be.
The work the BBC commissioned to Lotta Wennäkoski was a interesting start for the night.
Much more interesting Kodály’s Budavári Te Deum. I always wonder why Kodály music is not more frequent in western countries concerts. Splendid choir and soloist in their no-at-all easy parts. Orchestra and conductor showed that they have done their work. Well done.
Unusual too Sibelius’ Finlandia in the choral version. Nothing really new, probably programmed to balance nationalisms during the night.
To end the first part Ninna Stemme sang Tristan and Isolde’s Liebestod (after the complimentary prelude). Even Ninna Stemme, one of the most powerful voices nowadays has problems to properly project her voice over the orchestra in a place like the Royal Albert Hall. Definitely not a good idea.
Intermission and compulsory John Adams work. Short. Irrelevant in the programme. Then Stemme came back to sing Kurl Weill & Gerswing songs (omitted on the BBC online programme) with amplification. Even if the performance was good (I really enjoyed Surabaya Johnny) the contrast with the previous Wagner was too much (in style, meaning, means and ways) and we had the feeling of being on a crazy carousel.
And then the party started. The European flags and the Union Jacks doing their game, the scary British audience doing his scary things and so. Being there, everything happened too fast and less party-ish than expected. Oramo speech was 100% politics free that was, somehow, disappointing. Because at the end, the Last night of the Proms is not only about the music.