Classical: In the rhythm of the night

PROMS 42-46 ROYAL ALBERT HALL/ RADIO 3 LONDON

FROM FIVE concerts in three days, an unlikely Mozart concerto and a slice of jazz history stood out. Charles Neidich, a short man with a long instrument, bumbled around like Woody Allen but played the basset clarinet with extraordinary refinement. At first his Mozart Clarinet Concerto was fussy, but he phrased the slow movement with simplicity and beauty, ornamentation growing naturally from expressive need.

It upstaged the Bruckner Symphony No 9 in Thursday's early evening Prom. The Royal Philharmonic warmly applauded Daniele Gatti, who drew fine sound, but Bruckner needs a sense of harmonic direction. All the climaxes were much the same and, except in the scherzo, the speeds didn't gel. It was obliterated by the late-night Prom as the BBC Big Band put its own stamp - boisterous and not over-reverent - on Duke Ellington's music. It was a long wait for the guest trumpeter Clark Terry, a Basie and Ellington veteran , but his set quickly caught fire. You almost forgot how tokenistic the appearance was.

After this sustained rhythmic energy, Friday's heavy Bartk Piano Concerto No 3 with Pierre-Laurent Aimard just ain't got that swing, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Martyn Brabbins did a more focused job for the few quiet minutes of Gyorgy Kurtg's Messages. The last whispers of post- war new international classical music, perhaps; starting with a perfect epigram, the music seemed to distil 50 years' worth of harmonic wisdom into a still small voice, a handful of long-considered chords and brief hints of violin melody, as though that was all that could honestly be said now.

Most premieres feel more local, taking, for instance, British music into wider but established territory. Take David Matthews' confident Symphony No 5, the centrepiece of the Britten Sinfonia's debut Prom on Saturday. The steady, string-propelled vigour of its opening seemed to be moving the Elgarian heritage forward, but as the work grew, the nearest comparison that came to mind was Roussel: colourful, weighty and sometimes flamboyant orchestral sound carried terse thinking with terrific drive. Matthews' unusual flair for rhythm allowed the symphony's beginning and end - surrounding a spiky scherzo and a slow movement of rich but stolid melody - to make the strongest immediate impression.

Conducted by Nicholas Cleobury, the Sinfonia also brought deft Ravel (Le tombeau de Couperin)and Britten (Ian Bostridge suavely singing Les Illuminations), plain, hasty Mozart, and an encore from Milhaud's Carnaval de Londres which set "Over the Hills and Far Away" as a samba.

Saturday's late-night Prom was an absorbing sequence of choral and organ music in which the BBC Singers struggled in impossibly over-laden Strauss and prospered in Bax and Poulenc, and David Goode relished the chance to play Jehan Alain's searing Litanies on the Albert Hall house monster. The surprise pleasure was Alpha and Omega by Carl Rutti, building apparently simple material into intensely personal climaxes - with shades of Maurice Durufle, of much-loved Requiem fame.

Thursday's and Friday's early evening Proms will be rebroadcast on Radio 3 at 2pm on Thursday and Friday respectively

Arts and Entertainment
Emo rockers Fall Out Boy

music

Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment

film

Arts and Entertainment
A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
    Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

    Dame Harriet Walter interview

    The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

    Bill Granger's winter salads

    Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
    England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

    George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

    No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
    Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links