Today at the Proms - Prom 47

Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2018, Susan Omand has a quick look at the programme for Prom 47: Elgar, Prokofiev and Venables ...

Reminder - Watch Prom 42: Grieg's Piano Concerto on BBC Four tonight

I'm interested by today's world premiere "Venables Plays Bartók," not because it sounds like something that belongs more in a Fantasy Football league but because of the double accreditation. How can the piece be a World Premiere if the 19th century composer Bartók is involved? I went looking on Philip Venables website to find out and he explains it thus: "It is kind of ‘radio music theatre’ with the violin as the main character, and the piece explores my own journey through learning the violin, to a moment when I met my teacher’s teacher, the Hungarian violinist, teacher and refugee, Rudolf Botta. It is all framed round nine short Hungarian folk dances or miniatures, collected or composed by Bartók, hence the double credit of the piece: Venables/Bartók – Venables plays Bartók." Neat idea.

Book-end this with Elgar's bright and string-filled Introduction and Allegro (I'm not sure what it was meant to be the introduction to, mind you) and Prokofiev's glorious Symphony no 5 and it should be a very upbeat prom indeed. Here's the Scherzo from the Symphony played, quite unusually, on a single piano.

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

Edward Elgar
Introduction and Allegro(14 mins)

Philip Venables
Béla Bartók
Venables Plays Bartok(BBC commission: world premiere)


Sergei Prokofiev
Symphony No 5 in B flat major(44 mins)
Image - Photo © Chris Christodoulou
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