BBC Proms in the Park

Glasgow Green

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Miranda Heggie

four stars

ENDING this season’s BBC Proms, Proms in the Park Scotland, held in Glasgow Green, was a mixed musical medley of well known classical works, folk, jazz and musical theatre. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Bell, were on splendid form as they gave the performance a rousing opening with the overture to Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmilla. Jazz singer Clare Teal then gave a sultry performance of The Folks who Live on the Hill, before duetting with compere Jamie Macdougall for an endearing rendition of Irving Berlin’s Anything You Can Do.

Collaborating specially for the evening, BBC Radio 2 2017 Young Folk Award winners Josie Duncan (voice) and Pablo Lafuente (guitar) came together with BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2017, fiddler Charlie Stewart, for a fabulous version of the traditional tune Bonnie House of Airlie. Stewart’s fiddling was tight and driven, the rhythm growing more infectious when joined by Lafuente. With perfect diction and vocal control, Josie Duncan is a real story-teller as well as a fantastic folk singer.

Soprano Ailish Tynan sang a pair of arias – Vissi d’arte from Puccini’s Tosca and Vilja from Lehár’s The Merry Widow – before Jamie Macdougall ended part one with Highland Cathedral, joined by Chris Gibb on the Highland bagpipes.

Part two saw the usual link-up with the Albert Hall, and the other Proms in the Park from London, Enniskillen and Swansea, with Karen Matheson giving a moving performance of the traditional Eriskay Love Lilt. Of course, no Scottish celebration is complete without a bit of a ceilidh, and the BBC SSO rounded off the night in style with a trio of folk tunes, Eightsome Reel, Loch Lomond, and Auld Lang Syne.