REVIEW: Conductor Sakari Oramo led the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a transcendental playing of Beethoven’s… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
The Prickle (@ThePrickle) August 19, 2019
Conductor Sakari Oramo led the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a transcendental playing of Beethoven’s mighty, 70-minute Symphony No 9 in D minor, ‘Choral’. Standing ovations are rare at the Proms and for this, pretty much the entire audience took to their feet immediately; at least six thousand, in one of the most popular and oversubscribed Proms of the season.
The “Ode To Joy” finale was outstanding, with the BBC Symphony Chorus off-book, and Oramo bringing out every dynamic detail, including the unbelievable choral surges. Bass soloist Mika Kares imbued every word with meaning, and soprano soloist Anu Komsi shone with similarly emotional gusto. A few European Union flags waved at the end amid the screams and shouts of the ecstatic audience.
The first half consisted of two world premieres for two new BBC commissions. Dieter Ammann’s extremely dissonant and highly energetic Piano Concerto, ‘Gran Toccata’, written for virtuoso pianist Andreas Haefliger, is beyond belief. Percussion flickers nervously throughout, mostly drowning out the piano, but we hear blissful uninterrupted solos at a few key moments.
Before this, we heard a short new choral work by Jonathan Dove, for unaccompanied choir, We Are One Fire, inspired by the call to unity of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”. Deceptively simple and very English, Dove’s setting uses repetition and unusually syncopated rhythms to sound out Alasdair Middleton’s poetic text. From beginning to end, a startling and transformative experience.
What a wonderful concert this evening. Two world premieres and and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. 🎶You can listen to… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
BBC Proms (@bbcproms) August 19, 2019
1,350 £6 Promming tickets are available on the day for every performance.