Saturday 8 May 2010


Not being a keen devotee of 19th century symphonic music, I have not found this year's Prom's programme particularly enticing. Still, it is a prime festival if you want to hear Mahler's symphonies. Unfortunately, the only one of them that we really wanted to book for was the 8th, which had sold out before I could get onto the web-site.

Unfortunately, I could not spend Tuesday morning sitting at my computer waiting for my position in the queue to go down from 4000! It was only at lunchtime that I managed to log on.

The presence of WNO's Mastersingers of Nuremberg is notable and rather exciting, though we'll be out of London at the time. I don't find the prospect of Terfel's Hans Sachs that exciting, but the opera is a rare visitor to London at the moment.

Frankly I can't quite see how a programme of Sondheim will work in the Royal Albert Hall, but all credit to Roger Wright for including it.

Mark Anthony Turnage's new piece is being paired with the Barber violin concerto, which should prove for an interesting combination.

For the late night proms, we are looking forward to Pärt's Passion, and if you feel really committed you can hear his Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten earlier in the evening. Also late night is Philippe Jaroussky's recital with contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieu and the Ensemble Malthus, singing Handel, Vivaldi and Porpora.

Proms Chamber music looks good. I Fagiolini and the Britten Sinfonia have a lovely programme mixing contemporary and ancient settings. And the BBC Singers do something similar, mixing Taverner with Ferneyhough and Gabriel Jackson.

Finally, the penultimate night is John Eliot Gardiner conducting Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, guaranteed to be a larger scale performance than the recent one of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

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