Jump to content
Mander Organs
Sign in to follow this  
DaveHarries

Last Night of the Proms 2018

Recommended Posts

Evening all,

Caught the last half hour of the Last Night of the Proms on BBC2 on Saturday evening (8th September) and it was good to hear the RAH organ used. However when Andrew Davis gave his thankyous during his speech he forgot to thank the organist. I looked in the TV schedule magazine under BBC Radio 3's schedule and there was, as far as I could see, no mention there either as to who was playing the organ. There is also no mention on the RAH website. However I did see the organist take a bow during the applause at the end of the night.

Anyone know who was playing that mighty instrument?

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the organ came through magnificently at times. I understand your wondering who was playing it, Dave, but just wonder if the organist is any more worthy of special mention than any of the other individual orchestral players, some of whom, after all, played solos. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that Andrew Davis forgot to thank the organist, being an ex Kings organ scholar I can't imagine him doing that. However the organist was just a member of the orchestra and stood in recognition of the applause like the rest of the band! He didn't thank the timpani player either!

As to who was playing? It was probably the organist attached to the BBC Symphony orchestra. His name would be given in the programme if you could get hold of one!

On the subject of the 'Proms' I did think that it was one of the most imaginative series for a very long time. Of course there were omissions but lots of amazing performances by amazing musicians and a huge variety of music. I heard quite a lot of it. I think the highlights, for me, were the Messiaen Turangalila symphony and the Tallis scholars evening! The Messiaen is an amazing work!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmmm. From the BBC SO website. No mention of an organist. Funny that...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/sXnJWD6dprbBG2LK4wN9Cj/whos-who

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

In my days, as a member of a professional orchestra, piano parts, such as in Shostakovitch Symphony 5, and organ parts, such as in Elgar Engima Variations, were usually played by someone who was also a member of the percussion section.

In truth what, more frequently, happened with the organ parts were that they just were missed out which was a great shame. In Enigma the organ only plays in the last variation and is marked at the beginning of the score as ad lib. I think the majority of performances I took part in missed the organ out but, when it was included, the pedal entry just after Fig. 76, where Elgar marks 16' & 32', is devastating and the long sustained pedal writing, from there to the end of the movement, holds the whole orchestra up! - just like in Pomp & Circumstance last night!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The organist last night was Richard Pearce. I am assuming (but have yet to have it confirmed) that he is the BBCSO's organist in succession to Malcolm Hicks - himself the successor to my teacher, Alan Harverson. It is a shame that neither Richard nor the BBCSO's pianist (Elizabeth Burley) are mentioned in their personnel lists. Perhaps it's because their contractual arrangements are different to the those of orchestra's rank-and-file players.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For decades BBC Radio 3 used to credit the organist in an orchestra, which was nice but not always justified by the significance of their contribution. I think some of the organists were, on occasion, slightly embarrassed. I have no idea why it ever started but it might well have had to do with just one musician’s contract and a precedent was set. Nowadays I’d be amazed if anyone were able to negotiate billing for an orchestral date. Remember when there used to be announcements at the end of TV programmes? Peter Sallis is currently appearing in Run For Your Wife at the Aldwych Theatre in London.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×