Friday, July 18, 2008

It's Friday, it's mid-July, it's tonight...

...and it's the First Night of the Proms. Less celebrated than the Last Night, but musically rather more rewarding.

Read my piece from today's Indy on Everything You Wanted To Know About The Proms But Were Afraid To Ask.

UPDATE, 11.20am. Oh dear, my friend Pliable at the Overgrown Path is upset, mainly because of a passing remark about Britten. As I've explained in my response to his post, he has taken this out of context. Of course there's more to Britten than 'chilly glumness', just as there is more to Walton than 'social climbing' and a hell of a lot more to Elgar than 'pomp and circumstance', but what we were doing at the time was plugging Vaughan Williams. And 'chilly glumness' is not why there's no Britten in the Proms this year, at least I hope it isn't. In fact, I don't know why there's no Britten as I don't make the decisions. Presumably it's for the same reason that there is no Korngold, no Rautavaara, no Barkauskas, no Shchedrin and no Indonesian Gamelan. Come to think of it, I didn't spot any Birtwistle either. Everyone always wants their 'thing' better represented at the Proms.

Even in 76 concerts, you can't do everything. It really is as simple as that. If it is any comfort, I have shouted loudly about the wonders of Stockhausen, Messiaen and Elliott Carter.

What's more, it is true about the high heels. Please don't remind me of the time I wore the wrong shoes to Des canyons aux etoiles. It doesn't bear thinking about. And Pliable would presumably suffer even more than I did were he to arrive in stilettos for Saint Francis.

Lighten up, folks. This piece was meant to be fun. Or is that forbidden within a 20-mile radius of opening Proms night?