thoroughlygood_bbcproms2017_10

BBC Proms 2017 / 10: Beethoven Symphony No. 3 / Aurora Orchestra

Beethoven 3 last night sounded remarkable. Rich and sonorous. Sinewy. Robust. Their playing gave the music life, giving the work a newness I’d not heard before.

It amazes me how much of a difference musicians playing from memory can have on a performance. Aurora Orchestra’s USP reinvigorates the genre and the concert-going experience breathing new life into the repertory the same way the period performance movement did in the early nineties.

All too often we settle for the orthodox. When I hear something unashamedly different from the norm, it makes me clap my hands together excitedly. So too here.

Another standout moment from this year’s season. But then it was Aurora Orchestra. What did you expect a fanboy to say?

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thoroughlygood_bbcproms2017_6

BBC Proms 2017 / 6: Shostakovich Violin Concerto / Nicola Benedetti / BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Benedetti’s musicianship will carry you through. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales’ precision will make your jaw drop too. The investment you make in the bleak third movement cadenza (Benedetti creates something especially riveting here) is repaid in the visceral fourth movement in which soloist and orchestra career towards a near cataclysmic conclusion.

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