Proms Extra: Episode 7 BBC Proms

Proms Extra: Episode 7

Proms magazine show. Katie Derham, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Jess Gillam and Stephen Hough look at Stravinsky's Violin Concerto, The Big Band Prom and the Jools Holland Stax Prom.

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It's the final one in the current series but we're not going quietly.


Stravinsky, Beethoven, Big Band and Stax Records will be


making a joyous racket tonight and even though our time's up,


it's good to know that the Proms continues to swing.


# Hear that whistle # There goes the bell


# That means we're on our way. # I am feeling swell.


# This is my happy day. # Sitting on the dock of a bay


# Watching the tide roll away #... Another fabulous week.


Seated patiently in our studio, I have three guests who could only


I have the queen of percussion, Dame Evelyn Glennie,


saxophone princess, Jess Gillam and, in Proms Extra's


opinion, the king of the piano, Stephen Hough.


Jess, you must tell us, first of all, any update on the stolen sax?


Unfortunately, not yet. I haven't heard anything. I hope it turns up


but I might have to get used to a new friend. Oh, no, we have a


picture of it there. If anybody has any clues, this is another chance to


get in touch now. You say the police have done everything they can.


They've closed the case pretty much now They were so helpful but they've


no evidence. No leads. I am hoping maybe the person who has it tries to


sell it and eventually it comes home. Meanwhile, you do have a spare


which is a bit of luck because you are playing in the Proms in the park


in Wales. Yes in Swansea next week. It's equally great saxophone but one


I am in the used to but it will be a great night in Swansea. Stephen, no


stolen pianos? No, it would be hard to carry that around. It's a


terrible story. Really sorry about that. You had a wonderful Prom


earlier in the season playing Brahms, how was that for you? It's


always such a thrill. That piece is one of the biggest pieces in the


repertoire played in one of the biggest halls in the world. It fits


so well into that grand space. It was a great thrill. It seems it's a


month ago now, seems like last season almost. I know you have


actually had spare time this summer to enjoy the Proms in the audience.


That's true. Has it been a good season for you? I have been to a few


and other theatre things. I have seen some friends and I have lots of


work done at home. It's been a great summer actually. Evelyn, you have


another performance coming up at Proms in the park in Glasgow, is


that right? Northern Ireland. Oh, my goodness, forgive me, actually I


will never be forgiven for that! What are you performing there? Well,


light classics as it were, a little bit of Vivaldi I have transscribed


and the first movement of a Brazilian concerto and of course The


Flight of the Bumblebee. And you are playing at the end of the show, as


well. What are we hearing from you? I suppose it's a reduced version


with a little bit of improvisation of a piece called Restless by an


American composer Rich O Meara. Marvellous. It's a lovely scene here


to have all on the sofa. Thank you for joining us.


As you know, Proms Extra loves to swing and that appetite was sated


thanks to Radio 2 presenter and singer Clare Teal's Big Band


Music from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s took centre stage


at the Royal Albert Hall, performed by two big bands


led by sultans of swing, Guy Barker and Winston Rollins.


# I want to be hugged and squeezed. # Stuff like that there.


Some of the sounds from the Big Band Prom.


Just a taster there of music which on the night transported us


to the world of Gershwin, Berlin, Duke Ellington


and Glen Miller and the largely ignored Mary Lou Williams


who perhaps in a different era would have got the credit


As a sax player you must have been excited to see that Prom. It was


fantastic and the level of professional lichl, with two big


bands with leaders like Guy Barker, everybody on the stage obviously was


loving being there, as well. The quality of the solos, almost


everyone in both the bands took a solo. The energy and the bands


conversing with each other, the conversation, it was just a real


celebration of big band music. You are a big fan of the saxophonist Pee


Wee Ellis. He is a legend. He has been a huge inspiration to me since


I was about 11 or 12. All those years ago! The sound, he is just


such - so connected to his instrument. It's really him speaking


through the saxophone. I think having the smaller ensemble that he


played with, I think it was a special moment. Stephen, how did


this Prom grab you, to me it was joyful and nostalgic concert, that


sound world is very much of its time. Very much. Yeah. Of course,


what grabbed me and it's grabbed me again is that extraordinary piano


solo. It was witty and wonderful and what incredible virto objectsity and


that dress, it was just wonderful. We have another clip. I suspected


that we might talk about her. Let's listen to her again in action.


She's just phenomenal. Stephen, have you ever treated a piano like that?


No, I haven't. I don't think I could. It's incredible. Everyone in


the studio is smiling listening to that. It was fantastic. But also


such a serious artist and I love that. I have to say, on the whole,


jazz, I like my jazz best when it's in smaller places, closer in a sense


to the roots. It's interesting, I love hearing jazz in a big space


like this because I think it makes the connection with the composers


who were influenced by it so much like Stravinsky indeed. I like the


speak easies, the dives where there are just 50 people there, it's


Smokey, you are get that connection to the suffering and the pain out of


which it came. I think there is a sense sometimes in a concert when


you lose that. You are looking back at jazz, almost as a museum rather


than there where the grit of what's happening is there. But not to take


anything away from this thrilling evening. Indeed. Evelyn, certainly,


I think we could all understand Stephen's point but on the stain


there was that level of musicianship -- on stage there was that level of


musicianship and the way they were playing together, a team effort.


Absolutely. Often you know when you have two entities like that they can


be battling, we have famous drum battles and so on that are amazing


from a percussionist's point of view. But this was a real


celebration, I thought, of an era that perhaps a lot of young people


may not be so aware of and to see that in a live situation was


extraordinary. I agree with you, Stephen, that sometimes in a small


compact kind of smoky room you can almost smell and taste that music.


You can feel the contact of the breath on the instrument. On that


mouthpiece. You can feel that drum stick coming down on the cymbal.


It's a very different kind of connection there. What I found


extraordinary was there seemed to be in this particular Prom really


pushing the boundaries, as well, as regards to what a human being can do


when they have that trumpet there or a saxophone or keyboard, whatever it


is. The register of the trumpet seems to be getting higher. You felt


the whole roof of the Albert Hall going to explode. It was absolutely


fantastic, the musicianship. As you mentioned, the solos, it may only


have been a bar or two bars, but they all stood up, it was


acknowledged and the teamwork and the respect the other musicians had


was fantastic. A lot of interaction I found between the two bands rather


than it being a battle. They were all loving it. I was near the stage


and they were enjoying themselves hugely.


Take Route 66 to the BBC iPlayer where you will find the swinging


We guarantee you will be transported to the sunny side of the street.


Let's turn from the sounds of swing to Johann Sebastian Bach,


who was one of our talking points last week.


Anyone who has ever learnt the piano will know


The Well-Tempered Clavier - two volumes of preludes and fugues


The acclaimed pianist and Bach specialist, Sir Andras Schiff,


will be performing the whole of book one in front of an expectant Royal


Inspired by Schiff and by Bach, Proms Extra mischievously


raised the piano lid, threw down the baton and challenged


a few Bravehearts to take on this KEY challenge.


It's one of the great classical texts. It's the Bible of the


pianists. I think I learned it at the age of 11. I think I was seven


when I played it. It's the mountain, all of us can have a go at the first


one. It's very basic, but it's also very


intricat. It's long and flowing. You can sing anything on top of it.


One thing that's easy about it, essentially every phrase is


repeated, so if you read you have time to look forward to the next


part and see what that looks like. The piece is just continually


flowing. It's always searching and trying to get to the end, just takes


you on a nice journey. Bach knew how to create music of such profound


beauty with simple means and that's a perfect example of it.


I never played this piece before. I just play it the first time to see.


The song is really like smooth. It just like, you don't really have to


think. I don't really visualise very much but I find it very calming.


It's like playing waves and it's beautifully melodious and fuel of


music and fresh and beautiful to play really. It is simplicity at the


beginning which catches people and if you stay with it love enough you


can enjoy the fruity harmony later on. It's just the way the harmonies


just blend into each other. You can make it ebb and flow.


I have played all my life and my daughter played it and every pianist


has played it when they were a child.


Nice applause afterwards, that was jies. I would never give any advice


to Andre, certainly not. Wonderful to hear so many people


playing like that. Stephen, is this a piece that you have grown up with


and still play now? Not really. I actually don't play any Bach. It's a


terrible admission in a way. But of course it's the absolute beginnings


in a way of all the keyboard works that came after it. Interesting, it


wasn't published until 50 years after Bach's death which is


extraordinary. He went out of fashion for those years and it was


beginning of the 19th century people started looking at Bach again. I am


intrigued why you don't play him. It's a long story. I think it's


just, I recognise that he is the greatest genius of all the


composers, but I don't feel enough of a personal connection to him to


play him. I think people who play Bach really, they play everything


and lots of it, and I think just to pick up a few little pieces and play


them, I think I would have to immerse myself. I still have a few


years left, so who knows. We will hold you to that, you know.


Evelyn, a work like the Well-Tempered Clavier, is there


anything like it for a percussionist? I have probably


played more Bach venue but on a marimba. Early on, we were close to


the rock music and of course Vivaldi and Bach, so we did delve into quite


a lot of Bach but we had to imagine that Bach had a marimba layer to


play for. We had to imagine that was the instrument he was composing for


rather than to make it sound like something else. I think that really


the repertoire for young percussionists learning is still


quite sparse. There is a big gap there. So there isn't really a


certain book or even study books as such that we go to and in my


upbringing in the north-east of Scotland, we basically created our


own exercises from pieces of Bach, so scales and arpeggios was all


related to pieces of music, really. It was a wonderful thing, really.


You always understood that musical sentence, in a way. So, I suppose,


to answer your question, no, there isn't really a certain peace. What


about it, it would work, wouldn't it? A lot of it would work but I


think the advancement and how we can manipulate it has really developed


to such a degree that in the early years we might have thought, it's


impossible, to now, yes, it is possible. Not only that, the


instrument has developed as well. So there you go. It's not a challenge


for me, Katie, it's a challenge for you. No, it would be a big challenge


for me. But I think it would be fascinating. The clarity you can get


on marimba is greater than you can get on a concept Steinway. Next


series, tell you. Ever since she burst


onto the Proms scene last year, Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla has become one


of the new conductors to watch. Her ability to inject a shot


of adrenalin into core classical work, plus the fervent manner


with which she handles new compositions, delivers


a soundworld that would wake even Sleeping Beauty


from her deep snoring. In her second year as Music


Director to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,


she returned with them to the Proms Shown last Sunday on BBC Four,


that was a snapshot of the night's performance from the CBSO,


featuring violinist Leila Josefowicz, Allan Clayton,


all conducted by Mirga Jess, that reaction from Mirga, her


laughing at the end of that new work, a work by Gerard Barry called


Canada, we don't often see that level of entertainment and levity,


do we, on a podium? Have you ever experienced that. No, not quite as


extinct if as that. She is so immersed in everything she conducts.


She is a musical being. Her movements almost dance-like, like


their choreographed. She is so immersed in the character and the


personality and emotion behind the music that this is obviously a very


playful piece and I think it made the audience laugh and she just


showed her instinctive reaction, which I think it's really great to


see, because that's what music does. It changes people's emotions and


moves us. To see an instinctive reaction like that was fun. New


music can be playful but any music can be, but that was a lovely


example of somebody having fun with it. Mirga's just brilliant. That is


an outrageous piece, isn't it? I loved it. Gerard is a naughty boy. I


watched it on the eye player and I thought, he can't be doing this.


Because he repeats that Canada about 40 times and it's the sheer outrage


of it. It's not just crazy, it's a wonderful concert piece and what a


wonderful performance. Now, we had that wonderful moments of Stravinsky


and its standard repertoire but somehow it felt very fresh. It's 100


years old but it felt very new. I know and I have been a big fan of


Leila for many years because it always feels that she is pushing the


boundaries, like she is walking on a tightrope and you never quite know


what is going to happen. She is a hugely intelligent musician, the


nominal execute but the great explorer of music. She really is and


she becomes that character. You know, you always feel that her main


priority is to give this extraordinary journey to the


audience and there's never anything that's too precious. She is really


pushing those boundaries as far as the sound colour is concerned, as


far as she can do physically and she sweeps us all along. I'm not a


massive fan of that particular violin Concerto but under no


circumstances could I ever say that when it's in the hands of Leila. She


was quite extraordinary. And the CBSO sounding wonderful, Stephen? It


was a great concept all the way the choreography, as Jess mentioned, was


a reminder that it was made into a ballet twice. A reminder that at


some of his finest work. Stravinsky, everything he wrote, it's an


essential part of his style. If you want to see one of the UK's


best orchestras conducted by a rising superstar


then I have just one thing to say to you right


now - iPlayer! And if you thought you'd heard


enough about Stravinsky's violin concerto, then you couldn't


be more wrong. Here is David Owen Norris


with his final Chord of the Week. When Igor Stravinsky's publisher


asked him to write a violin Concerto, he wasn't quite sure he


could as he didn't say the violin himself. But he was urged to have a


go, been told that because he was unfamiliar with the violin technique


he might invent something new. So, at lunch in a Parisien restaurant,


Stravinsky handed the violinist Samuel Disch came a chord written on


a napkin and asked him if he could play it. No, he said, he had never


seen a chord with the enormous interval at the 11th before and he


wasn't sure his fingers could stretch. Quel Dommage said


Stravinsky. But when Disch came got home to his violin, he found he


could play it after all and he rang Stravinsky to tell him the good


news. The cord opened each of the four movements. Stravinsky called it


his passport to the Concerto and it takes us to special places. The


first movement... In the third movement, it occurred


four times and each time it takes us somewhere new. -- it occurs four


times. Or... And... And finally... So when the last movement starts, we


feel the passport cord is taking us around the world in 20 minutes, not


so much Quel Dommage as bon voyage. We don't want to say goodbye,


but we have to until to until the next time,


David. Let's go from chords to a record


label whose brand of southern soul was second only to Motown


at the time in terms I'm talking about the Memphis


based Stax Records. and Dave, Otis Redding,


and Isaac Hayes. Last night in the hall Jools Holland


and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra # I believed with honeys and I


proved with fear... # Ain't nobody crying now


# I'll take you there # Ain't nobody worrying


# Everybody, put your hands together #, on


# Hold on # I'm coming


# Hold on # I'm coming


# Love her, squeeze her, never leave her...


# Yeah... # That was just a taster of the some


of the pioneering hits featured in last night's Stax Prom which went


out live on BBC Four. Jess, I know you were there in the


hall loving it. Tell us what you particularly enjoyed. The atmosphere


in the hall was incredible. I think everybody that the connection from


the performers and to see some of the legends of the Stax record


label, to have William Bell Bear, Eddie Floyd, people who wrote those


songs and lived it, to have them there in the room, you could feel it


was a very special occasion. I know you went and sort out some of the


fan -- the stars afterwards. What it William Bell? Yes, it was. That is a


good one for your album. I was introduced to his music when I was


about 12 and it's incredible. It really touches people's soul and it


played such an important part in history as well. When there was


segregation in America, Stax records was an oasis where musicians could


go and it didn't matter if they were black or white. They made music that


people loved together. It was a real home in Memphis. That it was


celebrated at the Proms is just fantastic, one of the best things I


have ever seen. Evelyn, I know it's not the sort of prom you are


familiar with particularly but tell me your impression of the sound


world will stop it must be something that you as a percussionist you look


at and say, they are pretty important, they are driving this


music. I am a big fan, for sure. When you have a really great sound


person, it's almost like you don't see them but they make such a


difference. Gilson is like that. He is the engine that drives the


orchestra. All credit to every single musician there. Jules Holland


just seems to tie everything together so well. Again, this is


what the Proms do so well. They really present this marvellous


occasion that you remember for the rest of your days. There is


something there for all people. This was just a fantastic example of


that. Stephen, there was a hit after hit after hit. I think people of any


generation in the audience watching this now, there would be a song they


recognise that. Whether anyone is with resonance there for you? I have


to admit that I didn't recognise that many of them but I wish I had


gone with just now, because when you were describing it it sounded so


interesting. We could have had a drink before, you could have told me


about it and then I could have taught you about it afterwards. I


think I would have got more out of it. I think you probably have to be


there, surrounded by all the lights and the atmosphere to fully


experience it. I missed out. There is a whole education waiting for


you. Just, I must just ask you, you have played with Jules and and you


are now at the ripe old age of 18. 19. Please tell us how you met.


I went to watch him in Carlisle. My dad said take your saxophone with


you in case and we will meet them back stage and we did. I think I was


14 at the time. We queued up and met Jools back stage. He said, well, I


guess you don't have a CD but play to us. Took me back stage into the


area where all the band were, they were having an Indian after the


concert ap said just play, which was terrifying. The whole orchestra was


there. I did play and they were so supportive and lovely warm people.


He said come back next year and play with us. And you did. I did, didn't


know what it was going to be, it was an amazing experience. Fabulous.


Another great night. One all of us would enjoy in different ways. I


want to test you next year, Stephen, on whether you have done your


homework. As always, you can find


"Stax" of Proms on the iPlayer, and that is where


you will find this soulful Prom featuring Jools Holland


and the vocal talents of William Bell, Beverley Knight,


Eddie Floyd, James Morrison Talking of talent, it's tradition


on the final show of Proms Extra to reflect on some of the best bits


of the series and indeed the season Yeah, the Albert Hall, I know, a


Prom? Here we go from the top.


Cheers. After you have finished performing do you have any rituals?


Yes, as soon as I walk off stage I do a happy dance that I will not


demonstrate right now. What's your most embarrassing moment on stage?


My skirt fell off. Put the shirt on five minutes before the concert


which is what I tend to do and it turned out to be owned by my


ten-year-old son. You are the only person that cares right now.


We just love him. Everything is revving up nicely. There was a


moment where I was hoping it would go into the Pink Panther and it


didn't. It's our roots really, it goes back


to our roots. I like it very, very much


You are always listening to see if somebody is faking the funk. You


could be a secret jazz fan. I just don't have the right ears. Then you


have the bit of the cruisification. All those young people making that


wonderful sound. Let's shake on it live on TV. I wouldn't like to see


you two on a night out, you would have to put me to bed early, that's


for sure. I often feel very smug about it.


# What a beautiful morning. You love him, don't you? He has some serious


energy. They're like the Navy Seals for this kind of music.


Can't believe all that has happened, incredible, and the Proms


BBC Four is your friend this Friday as that's where you can


see Sir Simon Rattle, followed by the Indian


And on Friday, you can see Europe's first predominantly Black


and Minority Ethnic orchestra, Chineke!


With another phenomenal teenager, Sheku Kanneh-Mason.


And then next Saturday the 9th, all roads lead to the Last Night


of the Proms which starts on BBC Two, then it jumps to BBC One


Evelyn Glennie is poised behind me, by her marimba, to play us out


but there's still time to say that all of the Proms we have


discussed tonight can be found on the BBC iPlayer.


In the remaining eight days that are left of the season,


you can listen to Radio 3, who broadcast every single Prom


live, plus there is a magnificent podcast to listen to.


Proms Extra is over for another year.


It's time for me to say thank you to Stephen Hough and to Jess Gillam


And thank you to our final guest, performing Restless,


Katie Derham presents the final Proms Extra for the Proms season. On this show, she is joined by percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, star saxophonist Jess Gillam and acclaimed pianist Stephen Hough as they cast an eye over Stravinsky's Violin Concerto, The Big Band Prom and the Jools Holland Stax Prom.

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