Today at the Proms - Prom 37 & 38

Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2019, Susan Omand has a quick look at the programme for Prom 37: The Childhood of Christ and Prom 38: Solomon’s Knot ...

Another double prom day, starting with a stormer of an Oratorio from Hector Berlioz, full of drama and emotion. If you've been following these little daily articles, you'll already know what an oratorio is (and if you don't just ask). There are three parts to the oratorio; first is "Herod's Dream", so you're listening for Roman soldiers, frenetic soothsayers and the angels telling Mary and Joseph to flee to Egypt to avoid the Massacre of the Innocents after the birth of Christ. The second part is the Flight to Egypt, which is not as flighty as the title would have you believe. Often the "Shepherd's Farewell" from this part of the oratorio is played separately so you may already know it. The final part is "The Arrival at Sais", where you will hear about the journey to Egypt itself, their rejection because of being Hebrew and final acceptance by a family of Ishmaelites (i.e. non-believers), ending with an epilogue that describes Jesus growing up in Egypt.

Again though, it's the late prom that has pulled my interest - this is getting to be a habit this year. Solomon's Knot is the name of a Baroque group who perform in various combinations of voice and instruments, from only 3 or 4 to a sizeable orchestra. Tonight, they are playing a full Bach programme of Cantatas, a term which literally means "sung," to celebrate the feast of St Michael (no, nothing to do with Marks and Spencers.)

To give you a bit of an idea what they sound like, here are some of them with the final movement of J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor BWV 232.

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 

Prom 37 - 19:00

Hector Berlioz
The Childhood of Christ(95 mins)

Prom 38 - 22:15

Johann Sebastian Bach
Cantata No. 19 'Es erhub sich ein Streit', BWV 19(21 mins)
Cantata No. 130 'Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir', BWV 130(16 mins)
Cantata No. 149, 'Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg', BWV 149(19 mins)
Cantata No. 50, 'Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft', BWV 50(4 mins)

Image - Photo © Chris Christodoulou

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