BBC Music Magazine

Ways and means


I agree with Richard

Morrison (Nov) that Yuja Wang’s Prokofiev at the

BBC Proms with the Berlin Phil was magnificen­t musiciansh­ip, not empty show. It was one of a sequence of brilliant performanc­es in an astonishin­g weekend at the Proms for which I was fortunate to have an arena pass, from bewitching Berio by Semyon Bychkov and the BBC SO to barnstormi­ng Beethoven by Kirill Petrenko’s Berliners. The fast, superhuman­ly precise renditions of Prokofiev and Beethoven delivered by the Berliners were thrilling, but it’s worth rememberin­g that there are other ways of doing it too. For me the most moving concert of the weekend was Andris Nelsons’s Mahler 3 with the Boston Symphony. The ensemble may have been less perfect than that of the Berliners, but Nelsons and his players slowly coaxed an unbearable tension from the music which was only released in a final climax of shattering power. We should embrace the diversity of performanc­e styles which, to judge from this vintage Proms season, seems to be emerging once more in orchestral music.

Harry Mount, Oxford

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