BBC Proms 2016 - on BBC Radio 3

August 14, 2016, 7:21 AM · Live from the Royal Albert Hall, this is the BBC Proms! I've always been interested in the BBC Proms concerts every summer, and in the past I've always been looking for all the videos of the concerts to pop up on YouTube. 2011, for example, was a cool year because they did a Spanish Night with lots of Spanish-themed music by (mostly) French composers, as well as a Film Night, which was probably one of the first Promenade concerts I discovered, where they played Harry Potter and James Bond and things. Because every night for three months out of the summer is a brand new concert, I've always wanted to be able to listen to as much music from them as I can.

Since I don't live in and haven't traveled to London his year, I've connected with BBC Radio 3, which has a playlist on their website for the entire 2016 Proms season (they delete the files after the season ends) where you can listen to the audio (I think you need to be in the UK to watch any of the videos) for an entire evening's Prom. Every night is different - even though I've just started listening through these on my evening walks with the dog, I've gotten quite a lot of variety. Stravinsky's Petrushka on one evening (Prom 27); Mahler's First Symphony (Prom 32); Ravel's Mother Goose Suite (Prom 22). And for many of the concerts, the BBC has commissioned some brand-new works by modern composers which are very cool - in the 22nd Prom, for example, Lera Auerbach's very cool "Symphony No. 3" for solo violin, chorus, and orchestra, entitled "The Infant Minstrel and His Peculiar Menagerie" had its UK premiere at this concert on 31 July, and it was a nice break between the Ravel that preceded it and the Debussy ("King Lear" and "La Mer") that followed it. (There's also the BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert, which usually has chamber music (like episode 4's oboe and string trio music, or piano solos) rather than orchestral music, and BBC Proms Extra, which discusses relating topics to the music of the night's concert that is played during the actual concert's interval halfway through).

It's certainly been very fun being slightly more involved this year in these concerts, enjoying this wonderful musical festival from home, and it continues to create a desire in me to go and see one of the concerts live. Someday...

In other news, I've been getting back into the orchestra... I'm currently in the process of scoring my ballet! I finished the piano sketch a couple weeks ago, and when I played through it I expect the final piece to last about 40-45 minutes as the orchestra goes through 820 bars of music. Certainly I feel this piece is more organized than 2014's "Birds of Prey" was (go back to July - September 2014's articles where I discuss the making of that piece), because I sketched themes for it beforehand in the spring before I began working on it, and I wrote it all out for piano before starting to orchestrate it, which makes it take longer to finish it, but will allow me to really focus on the orchestration as a separate step, and I don't have to worry about coming up with melodies before - although I did sketch some melodies towards the end of the piece before I orchestrated them, so... I am using this large score paper and pencil to work, rather than the computer. I'm not really sure how long it will take me to orchestrate, as I'm at around bar 107 right now, but I hope to get a lot done this week before summer ends and I have to start focusing on schoolwork and much more on practicing - especially if I end up playing my "Painting of Japan" harp/violin piece!

Hope this was a fun article on new musical things! Until next time.

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Here is the website for the Proms. It will update what you can listen to depending on when you're viewing this link - that's why the Doctor Who Prom I linked to back in July 2013 no longer works, because they took it down.

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