Thursday, May 15, 2014

Michael S. Wright: Henry Wood Promenade Concerts 2014: Repertoire

which features a comprehensive Works List and a Bibliography by Dr. Dominique-René de Lerma,  We are collaborating with the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Foundation of the U.K.,

Michael S. Wright writes:

I thought that it would be most appropriate to draw attention to the 2014 Proms in London and express my disappointment on the choice of this year’s repertoire. I will leave readers to make their own judgement and draw their own conclusions on the ethnic and cultural backgrounds of the composers featured this season. However, I must bring it to the attention of all that there is very little music this year by any composers of African origin and descent as can be seen on the website:

However, there is some glimmer of hope Prom 30: ‘Battle of the Bands’ - It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing
However, this is somewhat marginalised by being held on Friday 8 August at 10.15pm. The mainstream concerts are held around 7.30 pm. There are often two Promenade concerts held in the Royal Albert Hall on certain evenings. These are much shorter than the concerts held in the Queen’s Hall 100 years ago under Sir Henry Wood. The following illustrates:

Prom 24
Fri 11 Sept 1914, 8.00pm, Queen's Hall
Anonymous - National Anthem
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Die Zauberflöte, K 620
J. S. Bach - Sarabande, Andante and Bourrée (arr. Sigismund Bachrich)
Ludwig van Beethoven - Fidelio, Op 72
Ludwig van Beethoven - Concerto for Piano No. 5 in E flat major 'Emperor', Op 73
Johannes Brahms - Serenade No. 1 in D major, Op 11
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Scenes from 'The Song of Hiawatha', Op 30
Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op 60
Carl Maria von Weber - Oberon, J306
Eric Coates - Pierrette's song
Ambrose Probert Porter - Western flower
Anton Rubinstein - Valse-Caprice in E flat major (orch. Karl Müller-Berghaus)
François Campenhout - Belgian National Anthem (arr. Henry Wood)

I invite readers to scan the history of the Proms  over their 119 year history. You might see that Sir Henry Wood did much to bring good music to the attention of the public before radio broadcasts and recordings were available....and you will see that Coleridge-Taylor was regularly featured.  I wonder what progress has been made. 

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