Building on the huge success of last year’s Horrible Histories Prom, which was nominated for an RPS Award earlier this year, this week’s Wallace and Gromit Prom has attracted a series of glowing reviews in the press. Here’s a selection of excerpts, together with links to the full texts…
The Guardian’s Guy Dammann gives the concert four stars, praising ‘the clever and challenging programme of short pieces and excerpts, which included Copland’s Fanfare, Adams’s Short Ride and excerpts from Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony, all performed with the orchestra’s customary energy and brilliance.’
The Telegraph has another four-star review from Ivan Hewett: ‘the musical interludes leading up to the main event — which included John Adams, Tasmin Little playing a delicious violin showpiece, and Stravinsky’s Infernal Dance — were all played with terrific verve.’
Bachtrack gives the concert five stars, describing the orchestra as ‘stupendously good’ and highlighting in particular Iain Farrington’s specially-commissioned Wing It (‘an absolute triumph… words cannot describe the buzz the orchestra created; it was a fun, funny, and very appealing piece’) and Gromit remarkable Double Concerto for Violin and Dog (‘sheer genius’).
Over on the BBC Music Magazine blog Helen Wallace writes: ‘a fine delivery of Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man drew rapt attention, as did John Adams’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine… Most successful was Iain Farrington’s deft, jazzy and very 21st-century young person’s guide to the orchestra, Wing It. Needing only the briefest of cues from Collon, the piece springs into life with a walking bass and spotlights each instrument and section with flair, mixing I got rhythm with the Wallace and Grommit theme tune. It was presented as a spur-of-the-moment improvisation – and genuinely sounded like it.’
Nick Breckenfield’s review for Classical Source notes that ‘the members of Aurora Orchestra… proved their worth in every piece’, and that he never misses an opportunity to review one of these Family Prom concerts ‘because I am fascinated by the way classical music can be introduced to audiences and because the Proms does it so fantastically well.’
Blogger Michael Beek also has a lovely piece on the Prom here.
Look out for the BBC 1 broadcast of the Prom later in August – it’s currently scheduled for 27 August. And if you saw the show on Sunday, do let us know what you thought in the comments below!