Written by Ellis Ian Fields

Friday, 20 August 2010

image for Proms: Prom 45 Review

Mozart - Der Schauspieldirektor, overture
Liszt - Piano Concerto No 1
Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade
Dillon - La Navette
Tchaikovsky - Symphony No 2, "Little Russian"

Pierre Noxious writes:

Let's be clear about this - I love Scheherazade (that's how it's spelled on my favourite recording - Muti and the Philadelphia - so I'm sticking to it). In fact Rimsky-Korsakov is my favourite composer. And his mates in the Mighty Handful...

But, much as I love it, I wasn't ready for how long this gig was. It was gone twenty past ten when we got out! Twenty past flaming ten!

There was some Mozart overture and Liszt's piano concerto plus Tchaikovsky's Second Symphony and Scheherezade - that's like two symphonies in one gig. But if that wasn't enough there was also some new thing by a bloke I'd never heard of - bit strange, if you ask me... tuneless.

You probably remember I mentioned the role of the concert pianist last week - you know, one bit of playing and you bugger off… Well, we were supposed to see Boris Berezovsky doing the Liszt (he's good apparently). But he didn't show up! Some other geezer had to do the gig. Couldn't be arsed to show up for one little piano concerto. Tch… But the new boy done good, as they say. (Proms managers say there was plenty of notice - ed.)

Oh - and we got round the ridiculous bar prices. The missus smuggled in a couple of small bottles of red (two for £3, Sainsbury's Local. V nice). Hah! Stick it to the man.

Like I said, I'm rather keen on the music of Rimsky and his mates. Makes you wonder how they got the name...

"Hello Mrs Borodina, long live the Tsar. How are you today?"

"Mrs Rimsky-Korsakova! Greetings - and God save the Tsarina. I'm very well thank you, except I was up all night with my little Alexander Porfiryevich banging away on his piano, working on his Prince Igor."

"Ooh, I know Mrs B! The other day your lad and my Nikolay Andreyevich had that Modest Mussorgsky round with a couple of other boys I hadn't seen before* and they sat around all day talking about harmony and orchestration. Drank all my coffee and ate all my biscuits they did. They are such a handful, those boys aren't they Mrs B?"

"You're right there Mrs R-K - A Mighty Handful! Ha ha ha." etc. etc. etc...

(*probably Mily Balakirev and Cesar Cui: ed.)

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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