Today at the Proms - Prom 61

Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2018, Susan Omand has a quick look at the programme for Prom 61: Yannick Nézet-Séguin & Rotterdam Philharmonic ...

Two main pieces in tonight's Prom. Before the interval we get Liszt's second Piano Concerto, the complexity of which, apparently, Liszt himself was so uncomfortable with that he banned his students from playing it, to try and protect them from the wrath of the critics. We shall see, I guess, whether it is really all that bad!

After the break we get some Romantic Bruckner. We know it's Romantic because Bruckner himself said it was, so there. Symphony no 4 is also the one most often highlighted when those that discuss such things discuss "The Bruckner Problem." The problem arises from the fact that it seems Bruckner could never leave well enough alone and was always tinkering and releasing "remixes" of his work, never quite marking any of them as "the definitive version". Timing has changed, orchestration has changed, even the contrapuntal harmonies are changed. Bits have been added, bits have been cut, and whole movements have been replaced altogether with something different! Three fairly radically different versions of this symphony are currently recognised by scholars as "the one" but in all there are at least seven different, authentic, revisions of the symphony in existence and that's before we get to the versions that have been emended by friends and students of the composer.

So it will be interesting to see which version we get tonight. Here's the short (3 minute) coda from the Symphony which, to me, builds beautifully but then seems to get left hanging and feels unresolved. Maybe he should have tinkered with it a bit...

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

Franz Liszt
Piano Concerto No. 2 in A major(21 mins)


Anton Bruckner
Symphony No 4 in E flat major 'Romantic'(68 mins)

Image - Photo © Chris Christodoulou
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