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KL BBC Proms 2

KL BBC Proms 2I can’t resist announcing this, but the KL BBC Proms 2 just got underway last night. I didn’t attend the opening night yesterday as I only bought tickets for 3 (of 5) nights—on the 1st, 2nd and 4th of November (Last Night of the Proms). The prominent feature of the opening day has Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky playing the “Elvira Madigan” (K467), which is one of the causes of my disinterest to see Russian virtuosity and flair ill-fittingly showcased on a pre-Romantic piece. I’ll be glad if it was Uchida, Pires or Perahia of some respectable Mozart credentials. With no disrespect to Lugansky who was a winner of the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in 1994, I’m looking forward to his interpretation of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on the final day. He is highly regarded for his repertoire in Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Chopin, and has been touted as the next “Russian great”, in the line of Gilels, Richter and Ashkenazy.

2nd of November should also be exciting. I’ve read much about Ilya Gringolts, winner of the Paganini International Violin Concerto at just 16 years old and one of BBC’s New Generation Artists. While Gringolts is now still just 24 years old, he has stormed up the ranks as a very “prodigious and gifted” violinist. Shostakovich’s First is by no means, one of the most fiendish violin concertos ever written, and you can almost imagine the fiddling frenzy in the Scherzo and Burlesque. I’ve just recently listened to a sterling performance by Leila Josefowitz at this year’s BBC Proms (who also has a recent album with the piece as well). So, I’m looking forward to this, really.

Tonight, I’ll have Britten, Elgar and Vaughan Williams for company – a warm British affair. It’s a waste that I don’t get to listen to the experienced Lynn Harrell whom I’ve never got a chance to do so. The replacement cellist is a Ralph Kirshbaum whom I’m totally unfamiliar with. He’ll be playing Elgar’s Cello Concerto, one of my favourite pieces of recent. Accompanying that is Britten’s Occasional Overture (first performance in Malaysia) and Vaughan Williams’ emotional 5th Symphony. I hope it’ll be a performance as fine as I’m anticipating it to turn out.

As some of you would know, I keep a rather simple MPO Reviews page where I give my review, critique and ratings on the MPO concerts that I attend. Hopefully this will be a good start in finding like-minded classical music enthusiasts and MPO buffs.

As for now, this week’s gonna be great one.

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