Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Last Night of the Proms [RPO]

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The Proms -- short for promenade concerts -- have been a tradition in London since they were introduced by Henry Wood in 1895. Now widely known as the BBC Proms, they are arguably the most successful classical summer concert series in the world. RPO's Last Night of the Proms is a double CD of crowd-pleasers, often of a patriotic flavor, that are typically programmed to bring the series to a rousing close. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra offers exciting encores, such as Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1, Parry's Jerusalem, and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, though the rest of the selections here are rather varied in mood and are not necessarily showstoppers. Rossini's William Tell Overture, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, and Offenbach's Can-Can are international hits that are often heard at pops concerts, though Wood's Fantasia on British Sea Songs, composed specifically for the Proms, and Bliss' March from Things to Come are perhaps most familiar to British listeners, while Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Greensleeves and Elgar's Nimrod from the Enigma Variations are sure to stir English pride, even though they evoke a more reflective side of the Proms experience.

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