High jinks and taxi horns

PROMS: NEW LONDON ORCHESTRA, LA PHILHARMONIC ROYAL ALBERT HALL

WITH THE spectacle of the Russian and American presidents playing farce and bedroom comedy on the international stage, you might think a Soviet-American theme for bank holiday Monday's afternoon family Prom would be ill-conceived.

Not a bit of it, however, with Ronald Corp firmly in charge of the conductor's baton. Renowned as the hero of the recent British light music revival, a choir trainer and himself a noted composer, Corp promised high jinks and taxi horns for his afternoon's entertainment - nothing to do with the White House, this, but relating instead to the opening and closing works of the concert, Gershwin's Girl Crazy overture, and his classic tone poem, An American in Paris.

Corp's New London Orchestra, led by David Juritz, caught the Tin Pan Alley mood of these scores to their last nuance. Readings that were full of ebullient personality sparkled with delicious brass and woodwind solos. Girl Crazy led to girl dowdy, music in glass-slipper mood, with spiky excerpts from Prokofiev's Cinderella ballet, and Rodgers' Cinderella Waltz, scored, or so it seemed, for solo side-drum and orchestra. Steven Osborne, rounding off the first half with his Proms debut in Shostakovich's Second Piano Concerto, offered much to admire in his shapely phrasing of the slow movement, and then the finale, delivered at breakneck tempo yet staying on the rails to the end.

After Kabalevsky's dashing Colas Breugnon overture - a welcome revival - Christopher Maltman, baritone, caught the childlike ease of five of Copland's Old American Songs - "Tis the Gift to be Simple" and "The Little Horses" especially - with touching informality.

The bi-national theme was continued in Sunday's evening Prom, the first of a pair from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen. His family hails from Polish and Lithuanian Russia, and Copland, doyen of American 20th-century composers, caught the essence of Mexican popular dance styles in El salon Mexico, opening the concert in spectacular style. With the brightness of West Coast sunshine in their playing, the Los Angeles band was well adapted to the clean-cut texture of this pellucid score. Its response to Copland's bouncy syncopations was vigorous and alert.

Both here and in the UK premiere of his own LA Variations, an homage to the city where he had made his home, Salonen conducted with energy and precision. His new piece, which is divided into 18 sections, used a schematic form of serial chords composed out into parcels of invention that were clearly defined by their different orchestral costumes. Though rhythmically vibrant, the score was also coloured by quieter inventions: for example, some impressive double bass writing at the end of section eight - impressively played.

The orchestra's fine bass tone was heard again in the brooding introduction of Stravinsky's Firebird ballet, which was sumptuously rendered in utter unity of purpose. Though somewhat thin on the ground for a holiday concert, the audience demanded an encore: Prokofiev's Death of Tybalt, delivered to its complete satisfaction.

Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
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.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week