Today at the Proms - Prom 52

Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2019, Susan Omand has a quick look at the programme for Prom 52: Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky & Wigglesworth ...

Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky & Wigglesworth - that sounds like a very expensive (and highly dodgy) firm of solicitors, doesn't it?

Anyway, tonight we have Mozart, then Tchaikovsky inspired by Mozart, then Stravinsky inspired by Tchaikovsky and somewhere in the middle there's a Wigglesworth world premiere so it's unknown where that inspiration came from. 

Starting with Mozart then and, not content with have one piano soloist, he has to go and compose a concerto for TWO pianos. It's wonderfully done as you would expect though, with the pianos often conducting a conversation of question and answer rather than playing together or one instrument taking lead and the other harmonising. 

The star-struck Tchaikovsky even goes as far as naming the suite, written to commemorate 100 years since Don Giovanni premiered, Mozartiana after his "divine" inspiration. I guess we could think of it more as a bit of fan-art since it's really just orchestrations of 4 of Mozart's piano pieces rather than Tchaikovsky's own compositions. 

Stravinsky did something similar with the piano work of Tchaikovsky for The Fairy's Kiss (or Le Baiser de la Fée to give it its proper French title) but the fanboying is a little less blatantly obvious. Here's a bit from the 3rd movement from the Divertimento, a Scherzo (light and lively) played by the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra with Anthony Marwood as the soloist. I think you'll agree that it's a lot more Stravinsky sounding that Tchaikovsky.

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

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Concerto in E flat major for two pianos(26 mins)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Suite No. 4, 'Mozartiana'(25 mins)Henry Wood Novelties: UK premiere, 1897


Ryan Wigglesworth
Piano Concerto(25 mins)BBC co-commission with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra: world premiere

Igor Stravinsky
Divertimento 'The Fairy's Kiss'(24 mins)

Image - Photo © Chris Christodoulou

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