Sunday, 11 September 2011

Last Night of the BBC Proms 2011

Friends who were at last night's Last Night of the BBC Proms 2011 had so much fun. This is when Brits let their hair down. Ignore the militarist element, and the attention seekers, focus on ordinary people having fun. The minute I got home last night from the Opening Concert at the Wigmore Hall, lots of lovely messages. The Last Night is something I only watch to see what friends in the Arena are up to. Great warm evening for the dinner jackets and evening gowns, lovely photos, everyone grinning. And then two "strangers" go up and crown Sir Henry Wood's bust with laurels. Could not recognize Nick in a  DJ as his native costume is rather different! Watch Susan Bullock, the kitschiest Boadicea in years! What crazy trills, and that's the voice not the outfit.

So different, too, from the 2001 Prom which was just after 9/11.

Years ago the LNoP was plagued by those who used it as a platform (which is where the flag waving came in). But even then, not everyone was jingoistic. When my mother went in 1945, a refugee fresh from camp, the Last Night really did symbolize "Hope and Glory". But even she wouldn't have liked militarist barracking, (which was what led to her being in camp in the first place). So thank goodness they now only allocate tickets to real regulars not opportunists. Please read this good article in the Telegraph .

1 comment:

G. Randy Primm said...

As an American. I had been entirely innocent of the existence of the BBC Proms, for which I should like to apologize. But thanks to Google's YouTube (and it's sharp and generous member uploaders) I have recently discovered it, and just in time to enjoy some recent and rather spectacular highlights. (BBC's TV broadcasts are only available via subscription here, and I do not use a cable or satellite service).

I refer here to the glorious performance of Gustavo Dudamel and the Gran Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar y el Coro Juvenil Nacional de Gran Bretaña, performing Mahler's Resurrection.

Absolutely superb.

Normally, I find Mahler turgid and muddy, but this performance was an eye-opener. Not only is the piece itself lyrical and dynamic, with wonderful pauses, soaring semi-climaxes, and even charming in places, but the orchestra under Dudamel's direction was evocative and attentive to the music. Especially fine was BBC's wonderful camera work, allowing the audience an intimate peek into the interaction between the conductor and his performers. Dudamel was definitely in control and the orchestra performers had their eyes on him the whole time.

A wonderful piece, a very fine orchestra and superior TV work by the BBC. Congratulations to everyone for a brilliant performance and thank you Britain for such a wonderful concert series. I look forward to visiting the Proms in person some day.