Proms 2020

Now the Proms are finally underway (sort of) and coming through steadily on iPlayer, here’s a chance to highlight particular Proms or parts thereof that we’ve enjoyed.

I’ll start with a mention for the LSO/Rattle gig from last Sunday. The opening Gabrieli is a fun start, Uchida’s Moonlight Sonata is delicately profound and the piano isn’t very close-miked which makes it sound even more ethereal. The Kurtag has an eccentric charm that I’m enjoying… and that’s as far as I’ve got so far. I’m looking forward to the Beethoven and Ades.

The sound is, as always with the Beeb, rather good. I’m listening to it in Pro-Logic II (LPCM feed from the TV via optical) and the Kurtag and Gabrieli in particular are using the rear channels very tastefully and effectively.



I’ve listened to most and really enjoyed them. Last night’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings was just beautiful. But at the end, instead of the usual thundering applause from the audience, the small round of applause from the orchestra for themselves made me feel quite sad and damp-eyed. A reminder of the grim situation we remain in


I did not hear all of the Rattle/LSO Prom but did make a point of listening to RVW 5. An overall good performance I thought and an exceptional one of the Romanza slow movement. A work written at the height of the Second World War, it surprised everybody after the violence of the 4th symphony. A work for our time.

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Indeed. Even worse than watching national cricketers acknowledging centuries with barely any applause.

I saw the first one , Beethoven, with the BBC SO and thought sad was the right word. Looking at things from the other end of the telescope it shows the level of commitment needed to make a succesful recording made in a studio enviorment. Monday morning, 10 AM, February, snowing outside. Get inspeired?
The Mahler 5 with Bernstein, broadcast a little earlier in the month, a performance I was luckily to be at, with a capacity audience hit the spot for me. Even after 33 years in a less than pefect recording. Recorded it on Freeview, sound only of course. Still on my keeper list.

Great prom - you were very lucky to be there. I also really enjoyed the Evgeny Kissin prom from 1997 that was repeated

A great Proms last night (3rd September). Nicola Benedetti and others playing with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Some baroque classics (Vivaldi, Handel, Bach etc.). Lovely oboe concerto as well. Enjoying it all through new Spendor D1s attached to my Star.


It was great @Alan_R. I really enjoyed the Avison piece particularly - a composer I was completely unfamiliar with.

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I thought the Vivaldi in particular was wonderful. Bach wasn’t bad either😉


Laura Marling, who was on this evening, was sublime!

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Agree. That was FM radio at it’s absolute best. Really got the best out of my NAT01. My wife actually didn’t object when I turned the TV off! I love those live concerts where you hear every last little shuffle, breath and clank of changing instruments between tracks too. So intimate and real.

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Last night’s was a good performance and the exposition of the 7th by the conductor was instructive, but Tom Service…give us a break. My partner said he looked as though he’d just lost his horse.

Tom Service is a odd one - the titles and topics of his Radio 3 programmes always pique my interest but I find myself switching off in irritation after 10-15 minutes. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is - his voice? Delivery? I suspect if I read his script as a piece of prose I’d enjoy it, but it just doesn’t work for me as broadcast.


I wonder how he manages to find the time to be on Radio 3 and TV and speak so quickly seemingly all at once. He must work 25 hours a day. You can’t knock his enthusiasim.
Katie Derham may not have the musical knowledge but in hi-fi terms she is an easier listen.
For a presenter without distractions perhaps Petroc Trelawny?

It’s the Last Night already. The soprano Golda Schultz is on absolute top form - what beautiful technique and musicality. Why have I not heard of her before? I’m not surprised Leslie Garrett was in tears after Strauss’s Morgen!

The aerial countryside footage during the RVW is a bit chocolate-box, but a bit of sentimentality on the Last Night isn’t completely out of place.

I’m looking forward to the reimagining of Jerusalem.

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