Practically perfect Mozart Clarinet Concerto and Beethoven Egmont overture from Michael Collins, basset clarinet with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in fine form, conducted by Osmo Vänska.
Sensitive Saint-Saëns piano playing by Benjamin Grosvenor was the highlight of tonight’s Delius, Saint-Saëns & Tchaikovsky Prom from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. I’d come to hear Charles Dutoit’s conducting but the twenty year-old pianist stole the show.
Celestial Bach - my highlight so far of this Prom season. Bach’s Mass in B minor sung by The English Concert and choir conducted by Harry Bicket was virtuosic and always subtle, fluid and dynamic. A heavenly pleasure.
The superlatives run out. A Baroque orchestra and small and very proficient choir filling the Royal Albert Hall with heavenly counterpoint that claims the rapt attention of the entire audience, seated and promenading.
Vast is the scope of Richard Strauss’s "Ein Heldenleben", vast in emotional gamut and vast in range of orchestral colour. Tonight’s performance was impressive, there must have been detailed preparation. The climaxes were dramatic, the lyrical passages moving and the contrasts effective. The effect overall was intense.
Spectacular British choral Prom: a programme of classic twentieth-century British music performed by two large choruses, the London Brass and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Tadaaki Otaka. The stars of this evening were the BBC Symphony Chorus and the BBC National Chorus of Wales; the choral preparation was excellent plus the conducting was sympathetic resulting in excellent choral unison.