Today at the Proms - Prom 41

Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2019, Susan Omand has a quick look at the programme for Prom 41: Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov, Lyadov & Glazunov ...

It's an all Russian affair tonight, with four different composers' works conducted by Vladimir Jurowski. First up is Rimsky-Korsakov (or "Ripped his corsets off" if you're of a certain age) and a suite from his Opera-Ballet (yes there is such a thing) Mlada. This was a fantasy of ancient Slavic folk tales into which, bizarrely, a vision of Cleopatra appears. Even more bizarrely, a main role at its premiere performance was taken by Fyodor Stravinsky, grandfather of Firebird and Rite of Spring composer Igor Stravinsky.

Anyway, sanity returns for the second work and Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 1. Tonight we're getting the original version, although the revised version from 1917 is more commonly performed. The composer allegedly said of the revision "All the youthful freshness is there, and yet it plays itself so much more easily" so it will be interesting to hear the difference with this original. 

Skipping to the final piece of the night and the sparkling Symphony No 5 from Alexander Glazunov continues the "youthful freshness" idea, often being described as "Tchaikovsky-esque without the pathos" so that should be a fun way to finish the evening. 

However it's the triplet of Lyadov tone poems that I want to pick today's selection from. Maybe not quite as well known now as the other composers tonight, his work was highly regarded by them back in the day, although his apparent unreliability, laziness and lack of commitment for actually finishing anything wasn't. For example, here's Baba Yaga - a composition of less than 4 minutes in length that took him more than 13 YEARS to complete!


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 

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Mlada – suite(18 mins)Henry Wood Novelties: world premiere, 1898

Sergey Rachmaninov
Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor(29 mins)(original version, 1891) Henry Wood Novelties: world premiere, 1900


Anatoly Konstantinovich Lyadov
Baba-Yaga(4 mins)Henry Wood Novelties: UK premiere, 1906
Kikimora(9 mins)Henry Wood Novelties: UK premiere, 1917
From the Apocalypse(9 mins)Henry Wood Novelties: UK premiere, 1914

Alexander Glazunov
Symphony No. 5 in B flat major(33 mins)Henry Wood Novelties: UK premiere, 1897

Image - Photo © Chris Christodoulou

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