Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Proms 2010; What Else Is New

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Proms 2010; What Else Is New

Article excerpt

Byline: BARRY MILLINGTON

RPO/LITTON SATURDAY'S Bach Day at the Proms began with the genuine article: the six Brandenburg Concertos in exuberant but stylish performances by the English Baroque Soloists under John Eliot Gardiner. By teatime, organist David Briggs was offering an exhilarating Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor on an instrument he was optimistically describing, in an organ loft interview, as one Bach would have relished.

By the evening we'd all but lost sight of Bach in an orgy of makeovers vigorously delivered by the RPO under Andrew Litton. Items from Henry Wood's so-called Suite No. 6 and Granville Bantock's arrangement of Wachet Auf were relatively benign, while Walton's Wise Virgins sounded much as you would expect 1940s Bach to sound.

Stokowski's rendering of the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, made famous by Disney's Fantasia, was another matter, particularly given Litton's heavy-handed way with phrasing, ornaments and supposedly broken chords. …

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