Prom 64 featured the London Philharmonic Orchestra with their chief conductor Vladimir Jurowski. I saw fortunate enough to see the LPO with Jurowski in Melbourne a few years ago when they were touring out here, and they are a fantastic orchestra (they also record a lot of film scores, including, most famously, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy). The LPO did a wonderful job performing in this Prom, I just didn’t enjoy the program in this one as much as I have in others. It was ok, but I wasn’t blown away by anything.
Granville Bantock’s tone-poem The Witch of Atlas kicked of Prom 64. It was very pretty, and very easy to listen to, but not my favourite piece of Bantock that we’ve heard this Proms season (Bantock has been the featured British composer this season, hence why a piece by him pops up every week or so, despite his works not featuring quite that often in the usual classical repertoire).
This was followed by Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, played by Proms debut soloist Anika Vavic. Very good ending to the first movement. There were some good, some obviously very challenging/quick parts with. Vavic played very well, and it was good, but I didn’t think that the orchestra featured very much after the first movement, and I’ve enjoyed other piano concertos more.
The second act included two tone-poems, the first being Sibelius’s Pohjola’s Daughter. This piece was nice, but I didn’t feel that it was anything overly special.
The final piece of Prom 64 was Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra. The opening of this piece is very famous, most notably for being the opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey, as well as the theme music for NASA’s Apollo program. The LPO sounded terrific performing this, and it was definitely my favourite piece of Prom 64.