“There may be many Proms in any one season, but they would be hard-pressed to match the MSO’s triumphant performance under its chief conductor, Sir Andrew Davis,” writes Michael Shmith in Thursday’s (8/21) Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) about the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Tuesday concert at the London Proms. “Yes, one expected much, but there were mitigating circumstances (late flights, jet lag, etc.) that might have taken their toll. Not a bar of it! [This] was a truly magnificent and heartfelt occasion. … At the end, as Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique finished in a blaze of brass, the Prommers, who hitherto stood in the arena silent and straight as a legion of terracotta warriors, burst into cheers and shouts of acclaim. … An orchestra is often referred to in the singular. In reality, it is a complex organism of musical individuals and minds, not always in accord but more than capable of performing as one mind, hearts in tandem. This concert was such an event.” Also on the program were Strauss’s Don Juan and Elgar’s Cello Concerto, with soloist Truls Mork. “This was the first of five concerts on this tour. Coming up is Edinburgh. Clearly, the relationship between Davis and the MSO is going to be an affair to remember.”

Posted August 21, 2014

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in performance at the BBC Proms. Photo: Matthew Irwin