Chacony well received at the Proms


Last night’s BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall saw the world premiere of Joby’s arrangement of Purcell’s Chacony in G Minor, given by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Mark Wigglesworth.

The commission was included as part of a replica programme performed in 1963 and conducted by the composer Benjamin Britten, whose own arrangement of the Purcell preceded his Cantata Misericordium, Symphonia da Requiem and Spring Symphony, in celebration of his 50th birthday.

Joby’s new arrangement was very well received and The Arts Desk‘s Alexandra Coghlan today described it thus:

“With poise and no little wit, Talbot’s arrangement follows in the tradition set by Britten himself. Rather than risk unbalancing the complex interior workings of Purcell’s cyclic structure, Talbot instead reworks the colour of the dance, adding bells, whose lingering, jarring whine gives the lie to the strings’ smooth resolutions. Cheeky little glissandi decorate the string parts, and variations in orchestration culminate in a thumping, brass-led iteration, complete with cymbal crashes that emphatically announce the arrival of modernity.”

The broadcast is available to hear on BBC iPlayer for another 6 days, here, with Chacony being the first work in the programme.