Today at the Proms - Prom 24

Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2018, Susan Omand has a quick look at the programme for Prom 24: A Hero's Life  ...

Horns and cellos today. Horns are apparently "heroic" according to Strauss and he makes excellent use of them in his tone poem Ein Heldenlen (A Hero's Life). Although there are apparently different sections to the work, it is played without any breaks, so make sure you go to the loo before it starts.

Dvořák's Cello Concerto precedes the horny heroics. I love cello music, indeed I used to play the instrument for a while, and the soloist tonight is Daniel Müller-Schott, highly regarded as being one of the best cellists of his generation so that will definitely be worth a listen.

We start the evening though with a piece, and a person, that I don't know. On doing a bit of a dig, Dame Ethel Smyth was a fascinating person, both as a composer and as a member of the women's Suffrage movement. It was she who wrote the song that became the Suffragette's anthem and she was one of those who answered the call to arms by Emmeline Pankhurst, resulting in her spending 2 months in Holloway prison for breaking MP's windows.

As a musician, she studied in Leipzig and apparently met Dvořák, Grieg and Tchaikovsky, Clara Schumann and Brahms. Her opera The Wreckers is seemingly regarded as one of the most important works of the time, so I think we need to listen to a bit of it. Here's what you'll hear tonight, performed here by BBC Philharmonic and Huddersfield Choral Society.

Here's the full programme for this evening's Prom which you can listen to live on Radio 3 or on the iPlayer

Dame Ethel Smyth
The Wreckers – On the Cliffs of Cornwall (Prelude to Act 2)(8 mins)

Antonín Dvořák
Cello Concerto in B minor(42 mins)


Richard Strauss
Ein Heldenleben(45 mins)

Image - Photo © Chris Christodoulou

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