Thursday 23 July 2020, BBC Radio 3 @ 7.30 p.m.

Recorded at Royal Albert Hall on 30 July 2004

The lights went out during Heldenleben … the Bavarians and Jansons carried on playing. That’s the story of this Prom.

And we needed a pick-me-up following the previous night’s Proms offering, a dull/lethargic Concertgebouw/Chailly affair (1990) culminating in a tepid rendition of Prokofiev’s terrific Third Symphony; for a properly stunning Albert Hall account of that blockbuster masterpiece look no further than the BBCSO and Vedernikov (Prom 50 of the 2016 Season).

Back in July 2004, Mariss Jansons (late, lamented, and with his own strong Concertgebouw connections) opened this Bavarian Radio evening with Dvořák’s song-and dance, flora-and-fauna, Eighth Symphony, affectionate and exuberant, strings not drowned-out in brassy climaxes, to which the slow movement riposted a heavy heart and emotional drama, scrupulously outlined, played with sensitivity.

Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben was then swept along without sensationalism (that quality is written-in anyway, although there were a few tiny tweaks to the score on this occasion); rather there was a glorious sense of narrative and characterisation, not least in Andreas Röhn’s bravura violin solos, the music detailed and dynamic, left to speak for itself with insightful musical assistance from Riga and Munich.

Encores were usually a generous part of a Jansons concert – here further Dvořák and Strauss, respectively a lissom account of one of the slower Slavonic Dances followed by the Waltz that closes the Der Rosenkavalier Suite.