BBC Proms 2019 [BBC Proms 2019 On The World Service]

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01Creating A New Public For Classical Music2019080320190804 (WS)

Béla Bartók: Dance Suite
Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird – suite (1919 version)

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Péter Eötvös, conductor

The 2019 season of seven specially selected broadcasts from this year's BBC Promenade concerts from London's Royal Albert Hall opens with a tribute to Henry Wood, the founder of the Proms who was born 150 years ago. Wood was deeply committed to new music and introduced well over seven hundred scores to the British public, including the two works in this BBC Prom. Bartok's Dance Suite was written for the 1923 anniversary celebrations of the Hungarian capital and became one of the composer’s best-loved scores. The first performance of Stravinsky's Firebird in Paris in 1910 not only turned the young composer into a celebrity but also marked the start of a new direction in ballet music.
Introducing the concert is BBC Radio 3’s Andrew McGregor and he is joined by Marina Frolova-Walker, Russian Professor in Music History at Cambridge University.

Trailblazing dance music by Bartok and Stravinsky championed by the Proms founder

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.

Béla Bartók: Dance Suite
Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird – suite (1919 version)

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Péter Eötvös, conductor

The 2019 season of seven specially selected broadcasts from this year's BBC Promenade concerts from London's Royal Albert Hall opens with a tribute to Henry Wood, the founder of the Proms who was born 150 years ago. Wood was deeply committed to new music and introduced well over seven hundred scores to the British public, including the two works in this BBC Prom. Bartok's Dance Suite was written for the 1923 anniversary celebrations of the Hungarian capital and became one of the composer’s best-loved scores. The first performance of Stravinsky's Firebird in Paris in 1910 not only turned the young composer into a celebrity but also marked the start of a new direction in ballet music.
Introducing the concert is BBC Radio 3’s Andrew McGregor and he is joined by Marina Frolova-Walker, Russian Professor in Music History at Cambridge University.

Trailblazing dance music by Bartok and Stravinsky championed by the Proms founder

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.

02West Africa Meets Cuba: Ang\u00e9lique Kidjo's Electrifying Tribute To Celia Cruz2019081020190811 (WS)

Angélique Kidjo, 'the undisputed queen of African music' and three-time Grammy Award-winner, makes her Proms debut performing new versions of songs made famous by the celebrated Cuban singer Celia Cruz. Kidjo grew up in Benin, West Africa, listening to Cruz's salsa and found it an important inspiration. She later discovered that some of Cruz's music was influenced by traditional Yoruba music which migrated from West Africa to the Caribbean with slave workers. In 2019 Kidjo re-imagined Cruz's tracks for the 21st century, adding new layers of African rhythms and musical colours. The resulting vibrant sounds, combined with Kidjo's irrepressible stage presence, made for a rare sight in the Royal Albert Hall: most of the audience danced throughout the show, not just the people in the promenade by the stage but also those in the stalls, loggia boxes and the gallery.
Joining BBC Radio 3's Georgia Mann to introduce the concert is Beninese journalist Laeila Adjovi.

Scintillating covers of classic salsa tracks by one of Africa's most distinctive voices

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.

Angélique Kidjo, 'the undisputed queen of African music' and three-time Grammy Award-winner, makes her Proms debut performing new versions of songs made famous by the celebrated Cuban singer Celia Cruz.

Tracklist:
Baila Yemaya
Cucala
Sahara
Quimbara
Toro Mata
La Vida es un Carnaval
Oya Diosa
Once in a Lifetime
Afirika

Kidjo grew up in Benin, West Africa, listening to Cruz's salsa and found it an important inspiration. She later discovered that some of Cruz's tracks were influenced by traditional Yoruba music which migrated from West Africa to the Caribbean with slave workers. In 2019 Kidjo re-imagined Cruz's tracks for the 21st century, adding new layers of African rhythms and musical colours. The resulting vibrant sounds, combined with Kidjo's irrepressible stage presence, made for a rare sight in the Royal Albert Hall: most of the audience danced throughout the show, not just the people in the promenade by the stage but also those in the stalls, loggia boxes and the gallery.

Joining BBC Radio 3's Georgia Mann to introduce the concert is Beninese journalist Laeila Adjovi.

(Photo: Angelique Kidjo with members of the Proms audience. Credit: BBC/Mark Allan)

Scintillating covers of classic salsa tracks by one of Africa's most distinctive voices

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.

03Jean Sibelius and Finnish folk music2019081720190818 (WS)

BBC Prom concert exploring the inspiration behind one of Sibelius’s best-loved works. Sibelius's relationship with Finnish folk music was rewarding but complicated: he rarely quoted actual folk melodies yet many of his works are permeated by the spirit of Nordic traditional music. To highlight the connection, acclaimed Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto prefaces his Prom performance of Sibelius's Violin Concerto with a new Prelude that places traditional Scandinavian tunes and themes from the Concerto side by side.

Programme:
Thomas Dausgaard/Timo Akakotila: Prelude to Sibelius’s Violin Concerto in D minor
(world premiere)
followed without a break by:
Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor

Taito Hoffren, Ilona Korhonen, Minna-Liisa Tammela, singers
Vilma Timonen, kantele
Timo Alakotila, harmonium
Pekka Kuusisto, violin
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Thomas Dausgaard, conductor

To introduce the concert, Georgia Mann is joined at the Royal Albert Hall by the Director of the Finnish Institute in London, Emilie Gardberg.

(Photo: Pekka Kuusisto performs at the 2019 BBC Proms. Credit: BBC/Chris Christodoulou)

Sibelius\u2019s powerful Violin Concerto and the traditional tunes that may have inspired it

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.

03Jean Sibelius And Finnish Folk Music2019081720190818 (WS)

BBC Prom concert exploring the inspiration behind one of Sibelius’s best-loved works. Sibelius's relationship with Finnish folk music was rewarding but complicated: he rarely quoted actual folk melodies yet many of his works are permeated by the spirit of Nordic traditional music. To highlight the connection, acclaimed Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto prefaces his Prom performance of Sibelius's Violin Concerto with a new Prelude that places traditional Scandinavian tunes and themes from the Concerto side by side.

Programme:
Thomas Dausgaard/Timo Akakotila: Prelude to Sibelius’s Violin Concerto in D minor
(world premiere)
followed without a break by:
Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor

Taito Hoffren, Ilona Korhonen, Minna-Liisa Tammela, singers
Vilma Timonen, kantele
Timo Alakotila, harmonium
Pekka Kuusisto, violin
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Thomas Dausgaard, conductor

To introduce the concert, Georgia Mann is joined at the Royal Albert Hall by the Director of the Finnish Institute in London, Emilie Gardberg.

(Photo: Pekka Kuusisto performs at the 2019 BBC Proms. Credit: BBC/Chris Christodoulou)

Sibelius's powerful Violin Concerto and the traditional tunes that may have inspired it

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.

04Celebrating women composers20190824

Considering that Clara Schumann was one of the best-known pianists of the 19th century, it may come as a surprise it's only this year, two centuries after she was born, that her Piano Concerto is having its first performance at the BBC Proms. It was composed when Clara was only in her mid-teens, so it's fitting that it is a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, the Georgian virtuoso Mariam Batsashvili, introducing it to the Proms audience. The Concerto is complemented by a work inspired by a whimsical tale about a piece of blackboard chalk from the pen of the contemporary Tartar-Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina which is also new to the Proms.

Music played:
Clara Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor
Sofia Gubaidulina: Fairytale Poem

Mariam Batsashvili, piano
Ulster Orchestra
Rafael Payare, conductor

Andrew McGregor is joined at the Royal Albert Hall in London by pianist Lucy Parham who introduces Mrs. Schumann's life and work to audiences world-wide with her dramatised portrait of the musician.

Photo: Mariam Batsashvili Credit: BBC/Chris Christodoulou

Clara Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor and Sofia Gubaidulina's Fairytale Poem

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.

04Celebrating women composers2019082420190825 (WS)

Considering that Clara Schumann was one of the best-known pianists of the 19th century, it may come as a surprise it's only this year, two centuries after she was born, that her Piano Concerto is having its first performance at the BBC Proms. It was composed when Clara was only in her mid-teens, so it's fitting that it is a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, the Georgian virtuoso Mariam Batsashvili, introducing it to the Proms audience. The Concerto is complemented by a work inspired by a whimsical tale about a piece of blackboard chalk from the pen of the contemporary Tartar-Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina which is also new to the Proms.

Music played:
Clara Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor
Sofia Gubaidulina: Fairytale Poem

Mariam Batsashvili, piano
Ulster Orchestra
Rafael Payare, conductor

Andrew McGregor is joined at the Royal Albert Hall in London by pianist Lucy Parham who introduces Mrs. Schumann's life and work to audiences world-wide with her dramatised portrait of the musician.

Photo: Mariam Batsashvili Credit: BBC/Chris Christodoulou

Clara Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor and Sofia Gubaidulina's Fairytale Poem

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.

04Celebrating Women Composers2019082420190825 (WS)

Considering that Clara Schumann was one of the best-known pianists of the 19th century, it may come as a surprise it's only this year, two centuries after she was born, that her Piano Concerto is having its first performance at the BBC Proms. It was composed when Clara was only in her mid-teens, so it's fitting that it is a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, the Georgian virtuoso Mariam Batsashvili, introducing it to the Proms audience. The Concerto is complemented by a work inspired by a whimsical tale about a piece of blackboard chalk from the pen of the contemporary Tartar-Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina which is also new to the Proms.

Music played:
Clara Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor
Sofia Gubaidulina: Fairytale Poem

Mariam Batsashvili, piano
Ulster Orchestra
Rafael Payare, conductor

Andrew McGregor is joined at the Royal Albert Hall in London by pianist Lucy Parham who introduces Mrs. Schumann's life and work to audiences world-wide with her dramatised portrait of the musician.

Clara Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor and Sofia Gubaidulina's Fairytale Poem

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.

05Painting pictures with orchestral colours20190831

Felix Mendelssohn: Hebrides overture
Modest Mussorgsky, orch. Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Elim Chan, conductor

When the young Mendelssohn toured Scotland in 1829, he was expecting a country of ancient Gaelic bards and romantic deeds. It was the natural beauty of the Hebrides, however, that made a particularly strong impression on him and the overture that the islands inspired remains one of the most evocative symphonic seascapes ever composed.

Orchestral showpieces don't come more colourful than Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's daring set of piano pieces. The impetus was provided by a posthumous exhibition of works by the Russian painter and architect Viktor Hartmann and Mussorgsky composed the Pictures very quickly, in just a couple of weeks. He wrote to a friend: ‘sounds and ideas hung in the air, I am gulping and overeating, and can barely manage to scribble them on paper’. But the work wasn’t published in his lifetime and it took until the 20th century for it to establish itself as a much-loved classic.

To introduce the concert, Andrew McGregor is joined at London’s Royal Albert Hall by Suzanne Aspden, Associate Professor of Music at Oxford University.

Photo: Conductor Elim Chan Credit: BBC/Chris Christodoulou

Mussorgsky's glittering Pictures at an Exhibition and Mendelssohn's Hebrides overture

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.

05Painting pictures with orchestral colours2019083120190901 (WS)

Felix Mendelssohn: Hebrides overture
Modest Mussorgsky, orch. Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Elim Chan, conductor

When the young Mendelssohn toured Scotland in 1829, he was expecting a country of ancient Gaelic bards and romantic deeds. It was the natural beauty of the Hebrides, however, that made a particularly strong impression on him and the overture that the islands inspired remains one of the most evocative symphonic seascapes ever composed.

Orchestral showpieces don't come more colourful than Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's daring set of piano pieces. The impetus was provided by a posthumous exhibition of works by the Russian painter and architect Viktor Hartmann and Mussorgsky composed the Pictures very quickly, in just a couple of weeks. He wrote to a friend: ‘sounds and ideas hung in the air, I am gulping and overeating, and can barely manage to scribble them on paper’. But the work wasn’t published in his lifetime and it took until the 20th century for it to establish itself as a much-loved classic.

To introduce the concert, Andrew McGregor is joined at London’s Royal Albert Hall by Suzanne Aspden, Associate Professor of Music at Oxford University.

Photo: Conductor Elim Chan Credit: BBC/Chris Christodoulou

Mussorgsky's glittering Pictures at an Exhibition and Mendelssohn's Hebrides overture

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.

05Paintings And Sea Views2019083120190901 (WS)

Vivid recollections of a voyage to the Hebrides archipelago and perhaps the boldest of all attempts to transform paintings into sound.

Music played:
Felix Mendelssohn: Hebrides overture
Modest Mussorgsky, orch. Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition

BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Elim Chan, conductor

When the young Mendelssohn toured Scotland in 1829, he came looking for the idea of a romantic, misty country idealised in the poems of Gaelic bards. And it was the natural beauty of the Hebrides that made a particularly strong impression on him: the overture that the islands inspired remains one of the most evocative orchestral seascapes ever composed.

Orchestral showpieces don't come more colourful than Ravel's orchestration of Mussorgsky's daring set of piano pieces which was inspired by a posthumous exhibition of works by the Russian painter Viktor Hartmann. Mussorgsky wrote the Pictures very quickly in 1874, in a frenzy of inspiration: ‘sounds and ideas hung in the air, I am gulping and overeating, and can barely manage to scribble them on paper’, he wrote to a friend. But the work wasn’t published in his lifetime and it took until the 20th century for it to establish itself as a much-loved classic.

To introduce the concert, Andrew McGregor is joined at London’s Royal Albert Hall by Suzanne Aspden, Associate Professor of Music at Oxford University.

Mussorgsky's glittering Pictures at an Exhibition and Mendelssohn's Hebrides overture

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.

06Recreating Ellington's Sacred Concerts for the 21st Century2019090720190908 (WS)

In his long career, the jazz legend Duke Ellington wrote hundreds of pieces but he considered his three Sacred Concerts to be the pinnacle of his musical achievement. In this week’s visit to the 2019 BBC Proms you can hear the best of the Concerts in a new version created by the pianist and conductor Peter Edwards and vocalist Carleen Anderson. Ellington said he preferred his music to be seen as 'beyond category' but even by his standards the Concerts encompass a very broad range of musical styles: big-band jazz, classical music, gospel and tap dancing.

Performers:
Carleen Anderson and the UK Vocal Assembly
BBC Singers
Monty Alexander, piano
Annette Walker, tap dancer
Nu Civilisation Orchestra
Peter Edwards, conductor

Andrew McGregor introduces the concert from the Royal Albert Hall in London alongside Ashley Henry, a rising star among British jazz pianists.

Photo: Randolph Matthews performs Ellington's Sacred Concerts at the BBC Proms Credit: BBC/Mark Allan

Young British jazz musicians perform Duke Ellington's late masterworks

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.

07Ax And Haitink Play Beethoven2019091420190915 (WS)

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major
Franz Schubert: Impromptu in A flat major, Op. 142

Emanuel Ax, piano
Vienna Philharmonic
Bernard Haitink, conductor

It's hard to believe that Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto, now a keystone of the piano repertoire, was almost completely ignored during the composer's lifetime. It took a new generation of musicians to fully appreciate both the innovative handling of the relationship between the soloist and the orchestra and the unique blend of drama and lyricism in the score.

Two centuries on, the Concerto is among the most frequently played at the BBC Proms and the musicians performing the work this year have a particularly strong Beethoven pedigree: Bernard Haitink's life-time immersion in this work - he turned 90 in March - shows in every concert while Emanuel Ax's Beethoven interpretations have been globally acclaimed for decades. The concert has an added significance as it's likely to be Haitink's last in the UK.

Presented from London's Royal Albert Hall by Andrew McGregor and Natasha Loges.

Photo: Emanuel Ax and Bernard Haitink at the 2019 BBC Proms Credit: BBC/Chris Christodoulou

A sublime performance of Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto

Highlights from the 2019 season of BBC Proms, the UK's greatest classical music festival.