Radio Y Playlist #4: BBC Proms 2016

Monday 13th June 2016

It’s just over a month until the annual BBC Proms begins and we’ve compiled a mighty 10 of the best playlist.

Taking place between July 15th and September 10th 2016, the BBC Proms is the largest classical music festival in the world, and this year takes in over 70 different events across London’s Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall and the Imperial College Union.

Tickets for the events are now on sale, or as ever there will be over 1000 ‘promming’ tickets available on the day.

So which are we most looking forward to? Take a listen to our playlist above and read about each track below.

We hope you enjoy it. As ever, with love, Radio Y x

Holst - Mars, the Bringer of War

So this week we start with Gustav Holst’s ‘Mars, the Bringer of War’ from his most famous work, The Planets.

An explosive place to begin, and a natural opener for our Proms playlist, the whole of the The Planets will be performed at the Royal Albert Hall by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain on Saturday 6th August.

Wagner - Ride of the Valkyries

We follow Holst with Wagner, and the ‘Ride of the Valkyries’.

One of the most famous pieces of classical music, particularly in film and television, ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ displays Wagner at his domineering best.

The piece will be performed at the Royal Albert Hall on two occasions as part of ‘Ten Pieces’, a series of Proms combining classical music and video animations aimed at families and schools.

The first of these events will be on Saturday 23rd July, followed by another on Sunday 24th July.

Strauss - Also Sprach Zarathustra

A cinematic beauty up next with Richard Strauss and ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’.

Famously used by Stanley Kubrick in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ will be performed on Saturday 6th August by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, alongside the aforementioned ‘The Planets’.

Verdi - Requiem

Verdi’s demonic chorus, “Dies irae”, is next up on our BBC Proms playlist.

The entirety of Requiem will be performed on Friday 9th September at the Royal Albert Hall, by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Ravel - Bolero

The wonderful build of Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ rounds off side one of this week’s playlist.

Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ is the French composer’s most famous work, a beautiful ballet piece in such a soft, lilting tempo.

The piece will be performed on Monday 18th July by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall.

Bach - Toccata and Fuge

The ultimate organ piece, ‘Toccata and Fuge’ blasts us triumphantly into side 2 of our playlist.

An extremely popular piece and instantly recognisable, Bach’s piece is another inclusion in the ‘Ten Pieces’ series, which take place on Saturday 23rd July and Sunday 24th July.

Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet

Next to join our playlist is “Montagues and Capulets” from Romeo and Juliet.

Another instantly recognisable piece, Prokofiev’s piece is wonderfully dark yet vibrant as it marches onwards.

The whole of Romeo and Juliet will be performed on Wednesday 27th July at the Royal Albert Hall by BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Bizet - Carmen Suite No. 2 (Habanera)

Yet another inclusion from the ‘Ten Pieces’ series, Bizet’s delightfully playful “Habanera” just had to be included in our playlist.

Clearly we can’t recommend the ‘Ten Pieces’ events enough, particularly if you are a relative beginner to classical music. Go visit the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 23rd July or Sunday 24th July.

Mozart - Symphony No. 39

No classical playlist would be complete without a piece of Mozart, and we’ve picked ‘Symphony No. 39’ as the best of this year’s selection.

An absolutely stunning piece of music, the symphony opens the Friday 22nd July event at the Royal Albert Hall.

Elgar - Pomp and Circumstance

And so we come to the end of this week’s playlist, and how could we not finish on that ‘Last Night of the Proms’ classic, ‘Pomp and Circumstance’.

Most commonly referred to as “Land of Hope and Glory”, Elgar’s triumphant piece is a staple of the final night of the Proms season, and the recording here shows exactly why.

The ‘Last Night of the Proms’ will take place on Saturday 10th September, so get your flags ready and raise a glass to Proms founder, Sir Henry Wood.