London Calling

Head over to the BBC website, and you can listen to streaming audio of the past week’s worth of Proms. Thanks to a tip from Ear Trumpet, I just caught up with Esa-Pekka Salonen’s new Piano Concerto, played earlier today by Yefim Bronfman and the BBC Symphony, Salonen conducting, and a fun Brass Day concert featuring new pieces by Judith Bingham and Peter Wiegold, along with HK Gruber’s trumpet concerto Aerial (played by Håkan Hardenberger).

I think Salonen’s Concerto needs the spatial experience of live performance for its full effect; through radio, its non-stop activity, even in the slow movement, comes across like an overstuffed Victorian museum, every corner crammed with bric-a-brac to the point where your senses are inured to the relative quality of each object. This is my second go-round with the Gruber, but critic-at-large Moe’s first: the atmospheric opening movement made him quite serene, while the modernist bump-and-grind finale stimulated his appetite. (That’s a beef short-rib bone he’s chewing on, a souvenir of a Korean barbeque outing with my in-laws.)

serene moemoe with a bone

Leave a Reply