drawnonwords - A Writers Tale

My own views, posts, musings, stories and the odd picture for all to enjoy and let others know.

Category: Proms

Prom Firsts

Prom Firsts

Dear Reader

I have mentioned BBC Prom’s in past blogs. For many years I had enjoyed the traditional last night like millions of others. After a few years I decided to discover more of these remarkable concerts and found many famous and not so famous classic pieces. As I found more works, so the BBC expanded the Prom into jazz, movies and more.

I had always wanted to enjoy the live experience of a prom but living so far away the only realistic chances would be those on a weekend. Unlike watching a favourite rock band or jazz group, these prom’s are by their nature different each day. To try for a week day would mean a day of work, long travel and may be not so much fun.

Film and television music has been a favoured source of listening for me. There is so much out there, a rich and diverse range. I have seen the BBC orchestra before many years ago when one Jerry Goldsmith conducted. Live music has that spark which you don’t get from a record or cd, let alone digital.

The Sherlock Prom was one of those chances that had to be grabbed. it was perfect, right day, right time and just after some right good news. The trip down was ordinary no real sense of excitement oddly enough. The morning spent partly in one shop, Fortnum and Masons, then to Buckingham Palace (no I am not that famous yet) for a tour. London is what London is. Full of a mixture of people all heading somewhere.

Heading towards the Royal Albert Hall, I did start to get a little excited, more in the sense of what would be played? Given the numerous films of Sherlock stories let alone the television shows, the Prom should have no problems in filling the time. To make the day a bit more special, I was in a box over looking the orchestra, perfect. The introduction was to the first Robert Downey Jr film wonderful to hear. Then the surprise, we had not one narrator but two.

Matthew Street and Mark Gatiss along the BBC orchestra took the audience through  time and Sir Arther Conan Doyle thoughts with rich musical stories. It was, for me, brilliant. Intertwining classic opera with the music from Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror to Jeremy Brett’s iconic version of Holmes, finally thrilling with Sherlock himself.

It is an odd thing here, I did used to play the violin, no kidding and in the school orchestra. Thankful there is no YouTube recording, well not to my knowledge. I understand or did how to play but I have such admiration for those who can somehow appear to defies everything to play pieces at such pace. The BBC theme was thrilling to end. It was loud and not yet loud, it was crisp, clean and yet so human.

I enjoyed the concert from start to finish. It made me want to listen to more, which is half the battle. I wish the BBC Prom could travel but then that would defeat the point. For those in the capital they should and I would guess, do treasure all this. Part of my concern is someone will try to take it all away.

For my first BBC Prom it had to be 10 out 10. Just spot on.

Tagline:’Holmes, at home in London, just fiddling.’

P.S. I had one more unexpected surprise before I travelled home. It just made the day.


The Joy of the Proms

Hello Dear Reader

The BBC Proms, such a varied event is underway once more. I have already listened to a few of the proms and last night I sat down to Mahler’s 5th. It is very difficult to describe to people what you end up listening too particularly here in words. There are the odd one or two you can sort of hint at, Da-Da-Da-Darrr, is one. (Guesses allowed no prizes given)

I do find that a full orchestra is something of a joy to hear. It gives the music a life of it’s own and each time there is just a little difference that makes it special. I think that is why the BBC Proms are important. They have such diversity that it does cater for almost everyone.  There are 58 days of Proms, on some days three or four concerts played over 12 hours. That is a lot of music. It is all here http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms . It’s not only the music, it’s the musicians as well. They play over thousands of hours of music, it is a mental and physical battle to reach the end.

The BBC Proms are well received and supported by a loyal following, yet it is growing and changing. Musical, film and now jazz Proms have recently drawn in a different audience. Also shows such as Doctor Who, very popular, have shown that music comes in many forms.

Each year, many people tune in to watch the Last Night of the Proms, with well known classical works. Sometimes, you have to dip into the unknown and find a gem such as I heard with Mahler.  I did once challenge a radio station to play something from Star Wars. At the time, I suggested that many film pieces were as good as classical. Last night, I found some of Mahler’s work very much like a soundtrack. Full circle.

So dear reader, this little classical work is complete, the last bars played.

Tagline: “Da Da Da Dar”

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