Today at the Proms - Prom 28

Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2019, Susan Omand has a quick look at the programme for Prom 28: Rachmaninov, Borodin & Huw Watkins ...

I'm looking forward to listening to tonight's prom because I only know one of the pieces from the programme, the rest will be all new to me. In fact one work will be completely new to everyone as Huw Watkins composition celebrating 50 years since the moon landings is a world premiere.

Before that there is Japanese composer Tōru Takemitsu's Twill by Twilight. On doing a bit of reading about it, this was written in memory of the American composer Morton Feldman whose own work was highly experimental (he was a contemporary of John Cage) so it will be interesting to hear what this one sounds like.

I feel like I should have heard the Rachmaninov that's scheduled for after the interval but, on listening to clips, I can't place it. I guess it maybe just rings a bell (sorry couldn't resist).

But I have definitely heard the wonderful Borodin's Polovtsian Dances from his opera Prince Igor, an opus that remained unfinished at the time of his death and finally edited and published by Rimsky Korsakov. What's even more impressive is that Borodin was only a hobby composer, his day-job was as a doctor and chemist and he was responsible for promoting education in Russia and founded the School of Medicine for Women in Saint Petersburg, where he taught until 1885.

Oh, and if you think you've heard some of this tune before too, you'd be right. It was "borrowed" [So he should have been called Borrowed-in? - Ed] by the 1950s musical Kismet and the song Stranger in Paradise was a huge hit for Tony Bennett. So "Take my hand" and have a listen to the original.

Here's the full programme for this evening's Prom which you can listen to live from 19:00 on Radio 3 or on the iPlayer 

Toru Takemitsu
Twill by Twilight(13 mins)

Huw Watkins
The Moon(20 mins)BBC commission: world premiere


Sergey Rachmaninov
The Bells(37 mins)Henry Wood Novelties: UK premiere, 1921

Alexander Borodin
Prince Igor – Polovtsian Dances(14 mins)Henry Wood Novelties: UK premiere, 1897

Image - Photo © Chris Christodoulou
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