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Joyce DiDonato sings Les Nuits d'été, BBC Proms

Young Benjamin Beckman's work (European premiere) Occidentalis turned out to be a fun piece confidently played by the The National Youth Orchestra of the US of A.

The real highlight of the concert was Joyce DiDonato singing Berlioz Les Nuits d'été. Not exactly a jolly set of songs, and DiDonato's voice painted a gloomy and dark world of longing and grieve. Her French text was superbly clear and the orchestra under Pappano's baton provided the lush orchestra backdrop.

The band than embakred on a mighty journey climbing up the Alps (Ein Alpensinfonie) - the sound was fresh, eager and above all enjoyed - in that I felt the players did enjoy playing this symphonic poem in the RAH. The brass section of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain was up in the gallery offering the off-stage effect: though one could hear a little competitiveness in their, hmm, dynamics. A fun Sunday morning that was.

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