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 BBC Proms 2008

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PostSubject: BBC Proms 2008   Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:24 pm

Anyone see Nigel Kennedy on BBC 2 from the Royal Albert Hall this evening? Sublime performance!
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:38 am

Missed it but tell us more! Write a review. I think it was due to be a two-part performance, wasn't it? Elgar and then some new jazz compositions?

I hate Kennedy's "geezer" persona, he shouldn't have to try that hard because he truly is a gifted musician. I went to a concert of his in the RFH some years ago, and it was indeed sublime.

On a slightly more mundane level - Talking to a friend of mine yesterday who has already been to a couple of concerts in this season's Proms, it sounds like the Albert Hall still hasn't sorted out it's AC yet. I like the Albert Hall, it's smaller and more intimate than it looks on telly. But God it can also get stiflingly hot. Apparently the heat and late hour made the other night's 22.30hr concert of 14th century religious music a tad heavy going!
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:26 am

Are the Proms not a bit boring and elitist? I watch plenty of stuff from our nearest neighbour, but the Proms, Songs of Praise, their Queen's speech, some stuff to do with the BAFTAS just rubs me up the wrong way.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:29 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Are the Proms not a bit boring and elitist? I watch plenty of stuff from our nearest neighbour, but the Proms, Songs of Praise, their Queen's speech, some stuff to do with the BAFTAS just rubs me up the wrong way.

Razz I watch all of those except the BAFTAS!! I think that Songs of Praise can be at times quite a quality production. It is terrible when Alled presents it but I think Sally Magnussen, for example, is a very interesting presenter.

I don't think there is anything elitist at all about the Proms. They're no more elitist than going to the National Concert Hall in Dublin - which is something I would encourage everybody to do as often as they can. In fact, if anything, the way in which the proms are presented, on mainstream television, through cheaper than usual concerts, often in public spaces, makes orchestral and classical music more readily accessible to the general public.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:36 am

johnfás wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Are the Proms not a bit boring and elitist? I watch plenty of stuff from our nearest neighbour, but the Proms, Songs of Praise, their Queen's speech, some stuff to do with the BAFTAS just rubs me up the wrong way.

Razz I watch all of those except the BAFTAS!! I think that Songs of Praise can be at times quite a quality production. It is terrible when Alled presents it but I think Sally Magnussen, for example, is a very interesting presenter.

I feel that, culturally, I can't connect with the likes of the Proms. It just doesn't do it for me and I feel it's a British programme for British people. I think my dislike for Songs of Praise could have something to do with my Catholicism, we really don't go in for all that hymnal stuff which Protestants quite like. Perhaps if I was a Protestant, I could engage with the programme. I just wish they'd put on Father Ted instead!

Quote :
I don't think there is anything elitist at all about the Proms. They're no more elitist than going to the National Concert Hall in Dublin - which is something I would encourage everybody to do as often as they can. In fact, if anything, the way in which the proms are presented, on mainstream television, through cheaper than usual concerts, often in public spaces, makes orchestral and classical music more readily accessible to the general public.

Point well made and taken. I do like the sound and power of classical music. I might have a look next year.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:40 am

You can take a look next weekend Ard Wink. The BBC Proms are in fact a season of concerts which run right throughout the summer. They tend to televise at least one of these concerts a week.

People often see the Proms merely as 'the last night' - that bastion of Britishness with flag waving, pomp and circumstancing and rule britannicing... I can understand that being something which people here might not engage with. However, what the Proms actually are, is a series of concerts put on by the BBC throughout the summer and as a series they are very worthwhile.

There was an embryonic "Irish Proms" developed a couple of years ago, it was held in Farmleigh House. What occurred there, was to my mind, the absolute opposite of what a Proms Season should be. It was very much an establishment sort of do. I prefer my Proms with the London Symphony Orchestra on a stage to 20,000 in Hyde Park! It would be very worthwhile for the Arts Council to engage in something like this on a grand scale in Ireland, be it with the National Symphony Orchestra, The Abbey or whatever.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:53 am

johnfás wrote:
You can take a look next weekend Ard Wink. The BBC Proms are in fact a season of concerts which run right throughout the summer. They tend to televise at least one of these concerts a week.

Well, that illustrates perfectly my avoidance of this annual programme. Is it the last night next weekend? I hope not.

Quote :
People often see the Proms merely as 'the last night' - that bastion of Britishness with flag waving, pomp and circumstancing and rule britannicing... I can understand that being something which people here might not engage with. However, what the Proms actually are, is a series of concerts put on by the BBC throughout the summer and as a series they are very worthwhile.

And the ones before the Butcher's Apron is flown about are simply anational celebrations of good classical music? Will that Godawful dirge GSTQ feature? If the former is true and the latter is false, I'll have a look at them.

Quote :
There was an embryonic "Irish Proms" developed a couple of years ago, it was held in Farmleigh House. What occurred there, was to my mind, the absolute opposite of what a Proms Season should be. It was very much an establishment sort of do. I prefer my Proms with the London Symphony Orchestra on a stage to 20,000 in Hyde Park! It would be very worthwhile for the Arts Council to engage in something like this on a grand scale in Ireland, be it with the National Symphony Orchestra, The Abbey or whatever.

There should be some form of support given to orchestral music in this country like the Proms in the UK. I only hope they don't call it the Proms like the previous attempt since that smacks of West Britishness which is not something which should be encouraged. The Concert of the Republic would be a far better title imo, and it should be as Gaeilge comh maith!
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:04 am

No next week isn't the last night, it isn't until the start of September. Next week is Prom 20 and unfortunately it won't be televised but it will be available on BBC Radio 3.

A Prom which you might be interested is Prom 28 on Thursday 7th August when the Ulster Orchestra will be playing the Royal Albert Hall as well as the accomplished young Irish pianist Finghin Collins. He is really excellent,I have heard him at the NCH a couple of times. It will also be available on BBC Radio 3.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:15 am

When I lived in Germany there were free concerts beside the lake several times a week - it was a Kur (spa) town. I don't know how professional (in financial terms) the players were but it was a wonderful treat to listen to good music, well played with the water lapping and the mountains looming in the background.

A lot of military stuff that I wasn't sure of the significance of though...
I've only once been to the NCH and that was to see Gardar Cortes, who was amazing. It's a marvellous resource - and no excuse for those close enough to avail of the lunchtime concerts which are cheap and probably excellent.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:20 am

The lunchtime recitals are excellent and they are very cheap indeed - even cheaper if you are a student. People shouldn't be fooled into thinking that the quality might be lesser at them either. Often the performing groups are members of the National Symphony Orchestra and other times they are leading figures in their field.

I had the joy of singing at the Concert Hall a couple of times. It really is an excellent resource.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:30 pm

I used to go to the Proms as a student in London and the atmosphere was great, including the queuing. Cheap access to masses of great orchestral music was the main thing - even with the lousy accoustics.

Nigel Kennedy seemed to suddenly blossom and grow in musical stature four or five years ago and its now a stunning musician. Did anyone go to any of his small venue concerts in Ireland about four years ago? I missed them and am still kicking myself.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:40 pm

I never saw him in Dublin, but I did at the Nice Jazz Festival about 3 years ago. He was very good indeed.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:09 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Are the Proms not a bit boring and elitist? I watch plenty of stuff from our nearest neighbour, but the Proms, Songs of Praise, their Queen's speech, some stuff to do with the BAFTAS just rubs me up the wrong way.

Ard, I agree and, if it helps, I can tell you that many many English people also don't identify with any of those programmes.

However, it is also more nuanced than that. I won't comment on Songs of Praise, any time I have tuned in, it has been some awful "modern" what-was-Graham-Norton's-character's-name-in-Fr Ted? / Singing Priest type "music" - What a Face . Unfortunately, in my experience, Catholicism has really lacked in good Church music as you yourself have pointed out (albeit in diff. terms), .... I love Church music, I love religious music, I detest the awful cheap electric-organ crap I had to listen to in my local parish Cath. church albeit I see that the local (in Irel.) Cathedral now has the most wonderful choir and music...

... I have diverted as usual ... in relation to the Proms, it is exactly as Johnfas has posted, a wonderful season of classical music open to all and, in recent years, they have genuinely tried to reach out to new audiences ... all of which I heartily applaud. I have only ever been to a few performances there - the ones that stand out were some Bach conducted by John Eliot Gardiner and a wonderful performance of Grieg's Peer Gynt.

I hate the flags etc of the Last Night, as do about 90% of my English friends. However, totally coincidentally, in 2001, the conductor of the Last Night was the American Leonard Slatkin. The Last Night took place on the Saturday after 9/11. I think it was Slatkin's first time to conduct the Last Night. Given the week that was in it, it was a huge moment, was it really going to be the usual Union Jack flag-waving? ... like everyone, I personally was completely numbed by the continuous tv coverage that week and spent that Saturday helping some friends tidy up their garden, good solid physical work in crisp early Sept. air to escape the continuous tv coverage, had dinner with my loved one and we sat down to watch the Last Night. Gone were the Union Jacks and all the othe imagery that still gets in our craws if we're honest ... Beethoven's Ninth and Berber's Adagio for Strings ( I know, I know, but it has it's "moment in time" when it actually works ), the American anthem for heaven's sake... we wept at the end, releasing all the emotion of that awful week ...
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:47 am

Atticus wrote:
I hate the flags etc of the Last Night, as do about 90% of my English friends....

A bit like a Wolfe Tones Concert. Laughing

To be honest I loved the Union Jack waving, triumphalism of the lost empire. I found it to be a bit sad but heart-warming at the same time.
Weird, eh?

I always got the feeling that these people were the children and grand children, the last of an old race that once conquered a world.
Its all gone and buried now of course but it was like watching somebody else's nostalgia and getting cought up the emotion of it too.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:13 pm

Johnny Keogh wrote:
Atticus wrote:
I hate the flags etc of the Last Night, as do about 90% of my English friends....

A bit like a Wolfe Tones Concert. Laughing

To be honest I loved the Union Jack waving, triumphalism of the lost empire. I found it to be a bit sad but heart-warming at the same time.
Weird, eh?

I always got the feeling that these people were the children and grand children, the last of an old race that once conquered a world.
Its all gone and buried now of course but it was like watching somebody else's nostalgia and getting cought up the emotion of it too.

They are the children of the Empire all right Johnny: they are a particular social class. Crumpets for tea and Henley I think. They wouldn't represent the wider population who have much less time for all this.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:30 pm

This evening's Prom (in progress on BBC 2 currently) is a decent enough jazz evening.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Sun Aug 10, 2008 3:50 pm

johnfás wrote:
This evening's Prom (in progress on BBC 2 currently) is a decent enough jazz evening.

I saw that while waiting for HIGONFY was to start, there was a delay or somesuch to proceedings. It was very brassy; saxophones, french horns, tubas, trumpets and trombones were all very much in evidence.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:25 pm

Daniel Barenboim conducting his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra of young Palestinian and Israeli musicians this evening. They are playingthe Overture to the Meistersinger just at the moment, as an extra after a glorious performance of Schoenberg and Brahms.

Barenboim declined to speak about what was wrong about the Middle East - we had just heard what was right about the Middle East. Bravo maestro!
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:26 pm

Atticus wrote:
Daniel Barenboim conducting his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra of young Palestinian and Israeli musicians this evening. They are playingthe Overture to the Meistersinger just at the moment, as an extra after a glorious performance of Schoenberg and Brahms.

Barenboim declined to speak about what was wrong about the Middle East - we had just heard what was right about the Middle East. Bravo maestro!

Meistersinger, is that Wagner's work?
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:30 pm

Yep, he said after Schoenberg and Brahms, you must have Wagner.

He has been quite brave about Wagner in the past, playing his work in Israel.

God I love Brahms' music
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:37 pm

Atticus wrote:
Yep, he said after Schoenberg and Brahms, you must have Wagner.

He has been quite brave about Wagner in the past, playing his work in Israel.

God I love Brahms' music

Yes. I was just making sure. Wagner would be touch and go in Israel. I was listening to some Brahms today. Very relaxing stuff altogether.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:59 pm

Try Brahms' Deutsches Requiem. wonderful.

The West-Eastern Divan Orch. are playing Stravinsky and Boulez at approx. 10.15pm tonight. On Radio 3 and poss BBC4, not sure
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:09 am

Atticus wrote:
Try Brahms' Deutsches Requiem. wonderful.

The West-Eastern Divan Orch. are playing Stravinsky and Boulez at approx. 10.15pm tonight. On Radio 3 and poss BBC4, not sure

Thanks Atticus, I'll try to find that on-line.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:28 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Johnny Keogh wrote:
Atticus wrote:
I hate the flags etc of the Last Night, as do about 90% of my English friends....

A bit like a Wolfe Tones Concert. Laughing

To be honest I loved the Union Jack waving, triumphalism of the lost empire. I found it to be a bit sad but heart-warming at the same time.
Weird, eh?

I always got the feeling that these people were the children and grand children, the last of an old race that once conquered a world.
Its all gone and buried now of course but it was like watching somebody else's nostalgia and getting cought up the emotion of it too.

They are the children of the Empire all right Johnny: they are a particular social class. Crumpets for tea and Henley I think. They wouldn't represent the wider population who have much less time for all this.

I daresay you're right. To be honest I know little or nothing about the English or the British in general. I have never looked to the UK for anything more than the soccer results and even nowadays I usually check out the Bundaslige first to see how the "Eintracht" are doing. Smile

Whilst I will admit to having a streak of nationalism running thru me(show me an Irishman who has'nt), I have never consiouscly defined it thru anti-Britishness or anti-Englishness. Indiffereance would best describe my attitude to our neighbours. Now mainland Europe, thats a different story.....
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PostSubject: Re: BBC Proms 2008   Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:33 pm

Johnny Keogh wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Johnny Keogh wrote:
Atticus wrote:
I hate the flags etc of the Last Night, as do about 90% of my English friends....

A bit like a Wolfe Tones Concert. Laughing

To be honest I loved the Union Jack waving, triumphalism of the lost empire. I found it to be a bit sad but heart-warming at the same time.
Weird, eh?

I always got the feeling that these people were the children and grand children, the last of an old race that once conquered a world.
Its all gone and buried now of course but it was like watching somebody else's nostalgia and getting cought up the emotion of it too.

They are the children of the Empire all right Johnny: they are a particular social class. Crumpets for tea and Henley I think. They wouldn't represent the wider population who have much less time for all this.

I daresay you're right. To be honest I know little or nothing about the English or the British in general. I have never looked to the UK for anything more than the soccer results and even nowadays I usually check out the Bundaslige first to see how the "Eintracht" are doing. Smile

Whilst I will admit to having a streak of nationalism running thru me(show me an Irishman who has'nt), I have never consiouscly defined it thru anti-Britishness or anti-Englishness. Indiffereance would best describe my attitude to our neighbours. Now mainland Europe, thats a different story.....

They wouldn't let riff-raff and commoners like that into a Wolfe Tones concert.....
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