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BBC Proms 2010: Prom 17 \ Wind Serenades

July 29, 2010

Late night Proms are an indulgence. There’s a sense that the hardcore attend the weekly ten o’clock concerts yearning for the usually more relaxed atmosphere and – if the number of audience members has reduced – a more intimate feel too.

The backdrop for tonight’s concert given by wind players from the Scottish
Chamber Orchestra was perfect in that respect.

The Dvorak Wind Serenade undoubtedly sizzled – a measure of the composer’s efficient scoring as well as the performers faultless performance. The addition of a cello to the group underpinned the luxurious sororities of the ensemble as else accentuating the cracking speed conductor Douglas Boyd took the work. Players were observed enjoying themselves. There is nothing better for a member of the audience.

Despite the comparatively colossal Gran Partita, the players maintained their stamina rattling off passages of fiendish articulation with apparent ease. The work is a demanding blow for all concerned and for the bass player too who didn’t have any rest at all. Every detail was paid close attention to. It wasn’t long after the beginning of the first movement hat such things were taken for granted. We were in safe hands.

The ubiquitous slow movement could have done with being a little slower for my liking, if only to bring out the heartbeat I’ve always imagined Mozart was trying to depict.

Still, a cracking performance.

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