Today at the Proms - Prom 74

Continuing our daily coverage of what's on at The Proms 2019, Susan Omand has a quick look at the programme for Prom 74: Beethoven Night ...

*Adopts movie voiceover man voice*

"First, it was Wagner Night, then we went back to Bach and now, for the first time..."

*coughs a lot*

Okay, not quite the first time as it's the second last prom of the season. There's a lot of well known music in tonight's Beethoven night and not just from ol' Ludwig van himself. We also get a handle on Handel and his Music for the Royal Fireworks and we do really go back to Bach again for his Fantasia and Fugue in C minor (as arranged by that prom favourite Elgar) but the rest of the programme belongs to Beethoven.

Before the interval we have his concert aria (which we already know means it's not part of an opera but a standalone work) entitled Ah! Perfido, which was first performed by a soprano friend of Mozart's in 1796, so I guess the music business back then was just as much about who you know as it is now.

After the interval, there's a couple of pieces from Beethoven's only opera Fidelio, telling the story of how a noblewoman, Leonore, frees her wrongly imprisoned husband from a corrupt rival lord's jail by disguising herself as a prison guard, the eponymous Fidelio.

But it is the final work of the night that everyone, everywhere will know. Even the Vogons [bonus points if you get that reference - Ed]. But here's a video illustrating the famous first movement in a way you'll never have seen before (unless you follow Doodlechaos on YouTube) - watch it right to the end, it's only 4 minutes or so.

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 

George Frideric Handel
Music for the Royal Fireworks(15 mins)

Ludwig van Beethoven
Aria 'Ah! perfido'(13 mins)

Johann Sebastian Bach
Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537, Op 86 (orch. Edward Elgar)


Ludwig van Beethoven
Fidelio – overture(7 mins)
Fidelio – 'Abscheulicher! … Komm, Hoffnung, lass den letzten Stern'(8 mins)
Symphony No 5 in C minor(35 mins)

Image - Photo © Chris Christodoulou
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