24 Sep 2019

The BBC Proms concert I'm most looking forward to is...

From Upbeat, 6:30 am on 24 September 2019
RNZ Concert presenter Ryan Smith

RNZ Concert presenter Ryan Smith Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Sound Lounge producer Ryan Smith has waited eight weeks to hear the very last in our BBC Proms series - a late night prom curated by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood.


This concert includes Pulse by Steve Reich, one of my long-time favourite composers. This 2015 work still retains that unmistakable Reich sound, but the mellow, spiralling sojourn is much less minimalist than his older seminal works. And as you might expect from a self-confessed Penderecki fan-boy like Jonny Greenwood, this concert also includes a work by his idol and collaborator. Penderecki’s Sinfonietta for strings is a thoroughly modern homage to the Baroque.

But the highlight of this Prom will hopefully be the world premiere of a new BBC commission by Greenwood. Sixty-nine string instruments will apparently be used to simulate electronic sounds.  So this, along with the title Horror vacui  - a term meaning fear of empty spaces, and reflecting Aristotle's idea that nature abhors an empty space – makes me think it should be a fascinating listen.

Saturday 28 September

9:30 Sound Lounge

Prom 70: Jonny Greenwood

Daniel Pioro, violin, Katherine Tinker, piano, Jonny Greenwood, bass guitar/tanpura, BBC Proms Youth Ensemble, ensemble, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Hugh Brunt, conductor