The final concert of the Sibelius symphonies full cycle was the best. Previous symphonies performances were from good to very good but the 7th and 2nd played this night were excellent. The magical tonality experiments around C on the 7th were exposed with perfect transparency and precision even with joy. In between the symphonies Finnish soprano Anu Komsi sang Sibelius own Luonnotar and the UK premiere of Aarre Merikanto Ekho. She did it well and Oramo perfectly did the concertante parts in the orchestra (that is, better than expected).
Festive concerto to celebrate Finland independence 100th anniversary. In the programme seminal works for Finland as a nation and for Sibelius as a composer: Press Celebrations Music (UK premiere!), Cantique and Devotion and the 1st symphony. It was really nice to listen to Press Celebrations Music, the work which included originally the famous Finlandia piece. Sakari Oramo did a wonderful job conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra with precision and enthusiasm.
Double interest on this BBC Symphony Orchestra: a first part full of interesting and not so frequent work and the continuation of Sibelius symphonic cycle by Sakari Oramo. And result were quite good. Florent Schmitt Symphony No.2 is a very interesting work, mixing the modern music feeling with the traditional tonality easiness. The rich percussion writing was perfect to showcase an orchestra in its best and a conductor that feels like in home while exposing this rhythm structures.
Very interesting programme in the opening night for the BBC Symphony Orchestra with his chief conductor Sakari Oramo and violinist Alina Pogostkina. The core of it was Sibelius’ 5th symphony, part of the All Sibelius Symphonies theme planned for this season. Why opening the series with the 5th and not doing in order? Maybe to match the next day 6th and 7th performed by Philharmonia and Esa-Pekka Salonen? That would be incredible complicity between London orchestras :)
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.
First the rant: BBC titling this concert as “Renée Fleming sings Strauss” was a stupid marketing trick. Trick because Fleming was singing more Barber than Strauss and stupid because everyone knew it. People could though “oh, she is singing the Last Four Lieder” while looking at the Proms listing but no more. Beside that, the programme was quite interesting: Oramo’s other orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra playing a vocal work by Barber that Fleeming included on her last album, some not so frequent Strauss operatic scene and Nielsen’s 2nd symphony.
Two concerts in one: * Saint‐Saëns 2nd piano concerto * Elgar-Payne 3rd symphony because these works have nothing to do and it’s quite difficult to find a narrative link between them to be in the same programme. And two disclaimers: * Above Perianes’s picture is not from the concert itself but from a previous one * I took too long to write this review again because of… whatever 2 disclaimers, 2 concerts, 2nd piano concert… so let’s say there was a 3rd work completing the programme with Elgar 3rd symphony.