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The best of the Proms 2015

Posted on by Beyond Bespoke

From Bach to Bernstein, Sibelius to Sinatra, there is something for every musical taste at the BBC Proms this summer. Here, Jocelyn Abbott, our new guide to classical music, shares her recommendations  

If you have ever been to the BBC Proms, you will know what a unique and inspiring musical experience it is. This year, there are 92 concerts over 58 days, culminating in the world-famous Last Night of the Proms on Saturday 12 September – and let’s not forget Proms in the Park that same evening. This season there is a focus on the piano, with many famous concerti being performed, and a huge diversity of programming, with something for everyone, whether you are a fan of pop or piano.

If you are new to classical music…
Catch Prom No.40, featuring Sibelius’s famous Finlandia; No.44 featuring Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony with its famous ‘Fate’ theme; No.45 with Debussy’s delightful Petite Suite; and Mozart’s commanding Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat major, K482.

If you love jazz, pop or film music…
Prom No.30, a stunning late-night Frank Sinatra affair; No.35, The Story of Swing with Clare Teal; No.41, a Sherlock Holmes Musical Mind Special; No.67, a Bernstein Stage and Screen evening; and No.74 Wireless Night with Jarvis Cocker – to say nothing of the Sondheim Cabaret lunchtime concert at the Cadogan Hall on Monday August 17 at 1pm.

If you love the piano, violin or cello…
Prom No.29 featuring Ravel’s popular G major Piano Concerto with a slow movement that will melt your heart; No.32 with Gershwin’s immortal Rhapsody in Blue; No.34 with Britain’s violinist national treasure Nicola Benedetti playing the luxurious Korngold Violin Concerto, No.45 as mentioned above; No.50 with Sir Andras Schiff performing Bach’s colossal Goldberg Variations; No.57 featuring yet another wonderful Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K488, and a remarkable event – with Prom No.68 – the great Yo Yo Ma performing all of Bach’s Cello Suites.

If you love the orchestra…
Prom No.31 featuring Mahler’s immense 9th Symphony, No.33 – what more could you want with Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and Berlioz’s exotic Symphonie Fantastique; No.43 featuring Symphonies 5, 6 and 7 of Sibelius; No.57 presenting Schubert’s “Great” Symphony No 9; No.70 with Rimsky-Korsakov’s magical Scheherazade; and No.71 with Elgar’s enduring Enigma Variations.

If you love choral works…
Prom No. 69 featuring Carl Orff’s rousing Carmina Burana as well as Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre (for all you “Jonathan Creek” fans, it is the theme tune!), culminating with No.75 presenting Sir Simon Rattle conducting Elgar’s uplifting Dream of Gerontius.

If you like staying up late…
Prom No.30 (Sinatra, as above); No.37, a Late Night with BBC Radio 1Xtra; No.48, a divine late night with Bach featuring his great choral Magnificat and thrilling 2nd Brandenburg Concerto.

If you are a fan of Brahms…
Don’t miss Prom No.62 on Tuesday September 1.

And last but not least, there is even a “Life Story Prom” No. 59, featuring excerpts from the original score by Murray Gold and footage from the recent BBC One series, presented by Sir David Attenborough himself.

Can’t get tickets?
Listen live on Radio 3 or check with the Radio Times for Proms that are either televised for live or later transmission or rebroadcast on Radio 3 at a later date. TV’s BBC4 is also the destination for a series of programmes on the Proms three nights a week (on Thursdays the focus is on soloists in both recital and concerto repertoire; on Fridays the programme will concentrate on concerts, while on Sundays, conductor Mark Elder joins Katie Derham to introduce a different symphony). To find out more, visit www.bbc.co.uk/events/r89mxj/series.

Jocelyn Abbott is leader of the Abbott O’Gorman Piano Duo and your guide to classical music. Have a question you’d like to ask Jocelyn about music? Drop her a line at enquiries@cubittmusic.co.uk

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