Published on September 8th, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw
Last Night of the Proms
Tomorrow night it is the Last Night of the Proms, seeing the end of a summer of musical performances at the Royal Albert Hall.
Over the past eight weeks, more than seventy concerts have taken place at the Albert Hall and Chelsea’s Cadogan Hall. Concerts have included the works of an array of composers including Benjamin Britton, who is also remembered in the Great Britons Stamp Cover.
Sakori Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra will be taking the stage on Saturday night to bring this year’s Proms to close. The concert will mark the 50th anniversaries of the deaths of composers Zoltan Kodaly and Malcom Sargent, who was also the long-time chief conductor of the Proms. Tomorrow night will also celebrate composer John Adam’s 70th birthday with the London premier of his work Lola Montez Does the Spider Dance.
In addition, the 100th anniversary of Finnish Independence will be marked with music by Sibelius and Nina Stemme, the Wagnerian soprano will be leading the last night’s celebrations.
At Hyde Park, Proms in the Park will be taking place. Headlining the event will be Sir Ray Davies. Performances from The Kinks’ frontman and other musical stars including Elaine Paige and Texas will be interlinked with live footage from the Albert Hall.
Other Proms in the Park celebrations will also be taking place in Swansea and Enniskillen.
History of the Proms
Originating from “Promenade concerts” which took place in London’s pleasure gardens in the 18th century, indoor proms concerts became very popular in the 19th century. The Proms were then inaugurated in 1895 by impresario, Robert Newman. He wanted to make concert hall music more accessible and offered low ticket prices and a more informal atmosphere.
The “Promenaders” referred to those who would stand at the concerts. At the original venue, the Queen’s Hall, more people would stand than sit due to the lack of seating. This standing tradition has continued through the years. There are still 1,000 “Prommers” standing spaces at the Royal Albert Hall in the central arena or up in the hall’s gallery.
The Fun of the Last Night of the Proms
The Last Night of the Proms is infamous for flag waving and boisterous renditions of Rule, Brittania.
Waving flags at the Proms began in 1947 after the Second World War. As TV became more popular in the 1950’s the audience were encouraged to add more colour and movement to the proceedings. Tomorrow night, Prommers will enthusiastically waving their flags as they sing along to Last Night of the Prom favourites: Land of Hope and Glory, Fantasia on British Sea Songs and Rule, Britannia. The night will draw to a close with a rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
You don’t have to burst into song to celebrate Britannia, unless you really want to. The Britannia 2015 One Ounce Silver Proof Coin perfectly depicts this iconic figure in our country’s history. It is part of a wide selection of collectible Coins available now at the Post Office Shop.