Grand fi­nale of the 2015 Proms sea­son

Macclesfield Express - - TVWEEK -

In the 1970s, years be­fore floor­shak­ing hi-tech sound­bars, many used to watch Last Night of the Proms as a si­mul­ta­ne­ous broad­cast with Ra­dio 3 on black and white TV sets. Those shades of grey may not have summed up the majesty of the Royal Al­bert Hall, but in the days of three TV chan­nels, and HD TV be­ing the stuff of science fic­tion, it did­nít mat­ter a jot. Rous­ing per­for­mances of Land of Hope and Glory boom­ing out of tinny stereos, and a sea of grey and white flags wav­ing through the South Kens­ing­ton au­di­to­rium left an in­deli­ble mark on im­pres­sion­able young minds and sea­soned view­ers alike. Of course the Henry Wood Prom­e­nade Con­certs have been en­ter­tain­ing the masses for decades now, whether for the priv­i­leged at­ten­dees who make it to that Lon­don venue, or for the mil­lions who watch on their TVs ev­ery year. And in 2015, the high def­i­ni­tion broad­casts are bet­ter than ever, thanks to the BBC cov­er­ing just about ev­ery as­pect of the events. Mu­sic fans have savoured a wealth of Proms this year Last Night of the Proms (BBC2, 7.15pm, BBC1, 9pm), in­clud­ing the open­ing con­cert on July 17, Bryn Ter­fel and Grange Park Opera's lively pro­duc­tion of Broad­way clas­sic Fid­dler on the Roof, and Claire Teal and Guy Barker's ex­cel­lent pop-up Big Band. In short, there has been some­thing for all ages and tastes. Now Proms reg­u­lar Katie Der­ham in­tro­duces the fi­nal con­cert of the latest sea­son live from the Royal Al­bert Hall. Con­duc­tor Marin Al­sop re­turns to lead the cel­e­bra­tions af­ter her tri­umphant Last Night de­but in 2013. Ac­claimed tenor Jonas Kaufmann sings as­sorted arias by Puc­cini in a show which in­cludes Richard Strauss's tone poem Till Eu­len­spiegel, a bom­bas­tic mu­si­cal clash be­tween good and evil per­formed by the BBC Sym­phony Or­ches­tra and Cho­rus and the BBC Singers. At 23, Bri­tish pi­anist Ben­jamin Grosvenor has al­ready cre­ated some im­pres­sive rip­ples in the clas­si­cal pond. He'll be play­ing Shostakovich's sec­ond pi­ano con­certo. Cel­e­brat­ing The Sound of Mu­sic's 50th an­niver­sary, so­prano Danielle de Niese will also be join­ing the Last Night cel­e­bra­tions for a new med­ley of songs from the film mu­si­cal. Kick­ing things off is the world pre­miere of the new BBC com­mis­sion Arise Athena! by com­poser Eleanor Al­berga.

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