Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Monday, 6 September 2010

image for Proms Review: Proms 65 & 66

(65) Beethoven - Symphony No 4
Mahler - Symphony No1

(66) Wagner - Parsifal, Prelude (Act 1)
R. Strauss - Four Last Songs
Schoenberg - Five Pieces for Orchestra
Webern - Six Pieces for Orchestra
Berg - Three Pieces for Orchestra

Karita Mattila soprano
Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon Rattle

Pierre Noxious writes:

There was no getting out of this, was there? Sir Simon and the Berlin Phil at the Proms?

Sir Simon this, Sir Simon that... You know? Like, everyone round here's been banging on about him since the Proms season was announced.

So what does he do? Well, well, well. What a surprise - a bunch of stuff by Germans and Austrians. Thanks Si - that's dead original.

It was all very well played - of course it was! It's the Berlin bloody Phil, for crying out loud. Anything less and we'd have been asking for our money back and kicking down the doors!

I didn't like the Schoenberg - I don't think I know anyone who likes that stuff. But there you go, I guess someone must.

But this was the first time I'd heard Karita Mattila. She's Finnish, apparently. She can sing, all right.

Anyway, I've got a signed copy of Anna Tomowa-Syntow doing the Vier Letzen Lieder (as we like to call 'em) with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Phil in 1985. But I never saw her perform them live - so there's a kind of symmetry, right?

Look, I can't stress this enough... If you're interested, the Strauss here is Richard, not Johann, the waltz guy and no relation. So don't expect a load of dancey stuff. OK?

Anyway, there's some Stravinsky on Tuesday - that's the only Prom left I half fancy, but I don't know if I can be arsed dragging myself up the Albert Hall again this year. I'll let you know...

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