Sunday, August 19, 2012


The Halle at the Albert Hall

What would Ivor have thought ? A whole programme of his music, in the Albert Hall, on the wireless, with the Halle, no less.
It's not the first time his music has been heard at the Proms, though; the 1914 season saw two parlour songs …

We might have expected the Concert Orchestra with Barry Wordsworth, even Vernon Midgely, and Ken Bruce narrating. But no, no expense spared here, with the Halle, no less, Mark Elder [an Ivor fan, apparently] and the inimitable Simon Callow to sketch the life of this remarkably versatile, and incredibly popular, man of the theatre, honouring the tunesmith and matinee idol who dominated London's stage musicals in the 1930s and 1940s. And how well he did it, with anecdotes immaculately timed, making the vast arena seem intimate and cosy.

And there were nice touches, like the sofa, and the elegant evening wear. The vocal selections were delivered by Sophie Bevan and Toby Spence: a good sense of the period, though these are modern voices, of course, with no-one to recall the stentorian tones of Olive Gilbert in her prime.

A very entertaining evening, and oddly moving, too; a welcome addition to the ever-widening musical remit of the BBC Proms.

try this for a proper review ....

1 comment:

Michael Gray said...

not really a review - this is a review:

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