More than a yard of tickets to the Proms!
All the Brandenburg Concertos, the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582 on the Willis organ in the Albert Hall and - as the grand finale to the 2010 Bach Day at the Proms - the Royal Philhamonic playing Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565 orchestrated by Leopold Stokowski and once again the the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582 but arranged by Respighi and played by the Royal Philhamonic Orchestra.
Tuesday 27th July 2010
Last night's Prom was good fun: Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen Prom under the baton of Paavo Järvi with Hilary Hahn as violin soloist in Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major.
Doing those pieces with a chamber orchestra is both a compromise between "original instruments" sound and the gloss of a full symphony orchestra. Modern instruments have more than enough volume to fill a big hall without sacrificing the agility that one instrument per desk gives. So the performances were very fast at times whilst still practically note perfect - I was following the scores - with some very athletic changes in tempi. I'm sure the scholars will continue to debate whether fast speeds are justified but after I had been complaining after our Rotterdam outing that that London performances can sometimes be a bit safe, this was risk taking on the scale of a full Albert Hall Prom, and it paid off.