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Massenet, Bizet, Ravel
Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid; Pinchas Steinberg
Delius, Nielsen, Wood, Ravel
BBC Symphony Orchestra; Sir Andrew Davis; Mark Simpson; BBC Symphony Chorus
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; Andris Nelsons; Baiba Skride
Ravel, Dutilleux, Delage
London Symphony Orchestra; Sir Simon Rattle; Leonidas Kavakos
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Fellow Frenchmen Alain Altinoglu and Renaud Capuçon make for fine partners in a rare outing for Berlioz's Harold in Italy.
In a packed Usher Hall, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra still and thrill by turns with transcendental, colourful Ravel and innovative, cinematic young Shostakovich.
Concert programmes at the Proms often lean toward music of significant scale and heft. The requirement to fill the huge Royal Albert Hall, as well as capturing listeners’ attentions across the airwaves and in many different countries, means that huge expeditions, such as this year’s Ring cycle, are a perfect fit for the festival. Prom 44 was massive too, in its own way.
It was the golden jubilee of Saint-Säens as a concert pianist, and in celebration he performed his crowning glory, the Piano Concerto no. 5 in F, “Egyptian”, which he composed while on tour in Luxor, incorporating exotic Middle Eastern melodies and rhythms.