Today at the Proms - Prom 8

Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2019, Susan Omand has a quick look at the programme for Prom 8: Invitation to the Dance ...

"You dancin'?" [You askin'? - Ed]

Aye, ok, it's probably not the same music as they played at the school disco [even back in your day? - Ed] but there's a definite lilt [other tropical fruit drinks may be available - Ed] to the tunes in tonight's prom.

Going backwards [but not in high heels like Ginger Rogers - Ed] the last piece of the night is "the other Stravinsky" and his glorious Firebird suite, which was composed for the world-renowned ballet impresario Dhiagilev, marking the start of a long standing [en pointe, naturally - Ed] collaboration between the two.

Before that we have Bartók's Dance Suite [no, not the Bartok from Anastasia - Ed]. This is a single flowing piece even though it contains five different folk dances from different countries whose themes intertwine at the end [so... the 12" dance remix? - Ed]. It was written in 1923 for the 50th anniversary of the unification of two cities either side of a river in Hungary, Buda and Pest [I wonder what they called the new place? - Ed]

*glares at Editor*

Anyway, before the interval we have a visit to the Alhambra. No, before anyone says it [never said anything - Ed] NOT the local picture house, but a newly commissioned work from Transylvanian composer Péter Eötvös. If his previous work is anything to go by, it will be more soundscape than melody but should be very atmospheric.

Talking of soundscaping, the acknowledged master of impressionism [I thought that was Rory Bremner? - Ed] spends an afternoon dancing with nymphs and fauns, with an atmospheric piece that got turned into a ballet by Nijinsky [the RACEHORSE??? - Ed]

Watch the brilliant Leonard Bernstein conducting here in 1989.

Here's the full programme for this evening's Prom which you can listen to live from 19:30 on Radio 3 or on the iPlayer 

Claude Debussy
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune(10 mins)Henry Wood Novelties: UK premiere, 1904

Péter Eötvös
Alhambra (violin concerto)(20 mins)BBC co-commission with Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada, Orchestre de Paris and Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker: UK premiere


Béla Bartók
Dance Suite(17 mins)Henry Wood Novelties: UK premiere, 1925

Igor Stravinsky
The Firebird – suite (revised version, 1919)(23 mins)Henry Wood Novelties: UK premiere, 1913

Image - Photo © Chris Christodoulou
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