Last night at the Proms (via my flickr)
Stage of the Royal Albert Hall before Mahler’s 9th, performed by the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Roger Norrington
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It was an immense, indescribable joy to celebrate our wedding anniversary at “one of the most important symphonic concerts in a very long time” with Mahler’s Ninth and a champagne & strawberries picnic.
The comments to this review will be quoted as reason #390502 why it’s great to live in London. The Proms are reason #390501. I’m rapidly getting addicted to classical music concerts; it’s going to be an expensive winter.
Last night at the Proms we were treated to live performances by some of the artists who accompanied the BBC series Human Planet. Khusugtun, a folk band from Mongolia, were one of the highlights: they sounded like Mongolia’s answer to Arcade Fire with Tom Waits as lead vocalist. You can listen to their performance and others from last night on the BBC Radio3 iplayer, or check out their website for info and sample tracks.
The flute sound you hear throughout the songs is produced by one of the singers, who can modulate his breath not only through circular breathing, but also by using his nose and mouth to produce two distinct exhaling sounds. Amazing to listen to and watch, and immensely suggestive of this great land and its past.
We’re going to see Rossini’s William* Tell at the Royal Albert Hall tonight. The conductor is Antonio Pappano. And because this is part of the BBC Proms - “the world’s greatest classical music festival” - a ticket will only cost £5.
Whenever I get fed up with living in London, I should remind myself of the glory of such important British cultural institutions as the BBC, which treat art, entertainment and information in such respectful, democratic ways: we’re totally spoilt here, it really doesn’t get better than this.
If you don’t live in London you can listen to all Prom concerts live on BBC Radio3.
*should this be Guillaume (the opera’s in French)? Wilhelm (the guy was Swiss, and the libretto was adapted from the Schiller play)? Guglielmo (Rossini’s Italian)?
It’s £48 (face value, and I’m not charging postage/fees) and I can meet you around 5pm at the Park, in time for opening sets by Beirut and Mumford & Sons.
Anyone up for it? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I told you so.
Despite the fact that I’m planning to see Gaslight Anthem and Josh Ritter with the Royal City Band later this year, I’m tempted to call Grizzly Bear’s Serpentine Sessions in Hyde Park my concert of the year now and call it a day.
It was magnificent.
(photo via Serpentine Sessions :: Photos)