Prom 40: OAE/Hough review – a riot of orchestral colour
Royal Albert Hall, London
Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, Stephen Hough played Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No 1 on the monarch’s own piano with fuss-free finesse
From sewers to Christmas trees, we owe a lot to the Victorians. But music has always been a moot point, the dearth of great homegrown composers obscuring 19th-century Britain’s energetic musical life. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were arguably the period’s most famous music lovers, though, so this prom celebrating the 200th anniversary of their births had plenty of material with which to tackle the old “land without music” epithet.
Arthur Sullivan’s Victoria and Merrie England suite was not a promising start. Written for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee celebrations, this is blandly jaunty stuff. Even Ádám Fischer’s sprightly conducting of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment couldn’t prevent it being dangerously tasteful.Continue reading...