BBC Proms 2017


Royal Albert Hall
2 & 8 August 2017

Aug 2 - Prom 25
Monteverdi Choir
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner - conductor

Aug 8 - Prom 31
Monteverdi Choir
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
National Youth Choir of Scotland
John Eliot Gardiner - conductor

Introduction to Berlioz project

Prom 25 (Late night): Reformation 500th anniversary Bach & Schütz
Wed 2 Aug at 10.15pm

John Eliot Gardiner, the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with this programme of Bach’s Reformation Cantatas BWV 79 and BWV 80 alongside a selection of works from Schütz’s Psalmen Davids.

The programme of jubilatory compositions was designed with opulent orchestration and joyous melodic invention. Schütz’s works, based on Luther’s translations of the Psalm texts, include sagbutts and cornetts and make use of the impressive polychoral technique he had learned while studying in Venice with Giovanni Gabrieli. Bach’s cantatas, composed for Reformation Day (October 31st), possess characteristic rhythmic and contrapuntal intensity and those presented in this programme are settings of their respective Lutheran chorales.

Prom 31: Berlioz – The Damnation of Faust
Tue 8 Aug at 7.30pm

John Eliot Gardiner returned to the BBC Proms for a second concert this time with The Damnation of Faust, continuing his multi-season Berlioz series. It is a work of extremely broad scope; part opera, part cantata and designed for four solo voices, full seven-part chorus, large children’s chorus and orchestra. It is an epic retelling of the Faust story that captures the extremes of man’s ambition and folly in music, by turns exquisite and grotesque, described by Berlioz as a ‘dramatic legend’.

American tenor Michael Spyres, a long-time collaborator with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, took up the challenges of the title-role, with Swedish mezzo-soprano Ann Hallenberg as the innocent victim, Marguerite. They were joined by fellow soloists Laurent Naouri (Mephistopheles), Ashley Riches (Brander) and Emma Lewis along with National Youth Choir of Scotland.