BBC Proms 2013: Helmut Lachenmann, John McCabe, Colin Matthews, Philip Glass, Naresh Sohal and Anthony Payne

Anderson, Martin
January 2014
Tempo;Jan2014, Vol. 68 Issue 267, p61
Entertainment Review
This year's Proms prospectus was the sixth to bear Roger Wright's name at the bottom of the preface, and under his aegis the Proms have taken on a non-doctrinaire openness that have seen some refreshing programming choices, among them Langgaard's wonderfully weird Music of the Spheres in 2010 and his six-minute Eleventh Symphony (complete with four concertante tubas) in 2012; between them, in 2011, came the most important of all maverick works, Brian's Gothic Symphony, almost tailor-made for the Proms and, more importantly, one of music's masterpieces. In the 37 years of my experience of the Proms (I went to my first one in 1977, God help me) new music has followed a longer-term but essentially similar trend of what one might call disindoctrination, as composers have increasingly felt free to write what they wanted to write rather than what they were expected to write. In my early Promming days you expected to have to fight for your new music: most of it inhabited varying degrees of uncompromising modernism.


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