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13th August 2014
Barry Douglas triumphs at BBC Proms

PromsBarry Douglas, whose relationship with the Proms dates back almost 20 years, returned to the Royal Albert Hall for the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor. Together with the LSO and Valery Gergiev Barry performed on Thursday, 24 July. As Robert Beattie from Seen and Heard International states, “Douglas’ playing was intensely lyrical and limpid and his handling of the dense textures was particularly good, allowing Brahms’ rich harmonic language to shine through (it reminded me a little of Radu Lupu’s Brahms playing). The power was also there when required, for example, in the first double octave passage which was a barnstorming piece of playing.”

Claire Seymour from Opera Today also notices that “the warmth of the hymn-like chordal second subject in the first movement was wonderfully soothing and throughout Douglas’s virtuosity was wonderfully integrated within the eloquent communication of the spirit of Brahms’ music.”

“He played each phrase with due and even deliberate emphasis, displaying an instinctive feel for Brahms’s punctuation. And his playing had a proper range of weight and colour across the keyboard, bringing out the texture of the concerto’s endlessly original writing”, says Martin Kettle from The Guardian. For Nick Breckenfield from Classical Source “Time, quite properly, seemed to be suspended here in Douglas’s hands, the silence from a packed Hall heightening the music’s effect.”