BBC announcement follows Rule Britannia speculation
Orchestral versions of Rule, Britannia! and Land Of Hope And Glory will be performed at the Last Night Of The Proms, the BBC has confirmed.
It released a statement including the programme for the concert amid speculation yesterday (Monday) that the songs could be dropped over concerns of associations with colonialism and slavery.
The pieces are usually sung but will be performed without lyrics this year, although they are expected to be back in full when the pandemic is over.
The concert is due to take place on 12 September but without an audience.
“We very much regret the unjustified personal attacks on Dalia Stasevska, BBC Symphony Orchestra Principal Guest Conductor made on social media and elsewhere,” said the statement. “As ever, decisions about the Proms are made by the BBC in consultation with all artists involved.
“The Proms will reinvent the Last Night in this extraordinary year so that it respects the traditions and spirit of the event whilst adapting to very different circumstances at this moment in time.
“With much reduced musical forces and no live audience, the Proms will curate a concert that includes familiar, patriotic elements such as Jerusalem and the National Anthem, and bring in new moments capturing the mood of this unique time, including You’ll Never Walk Alone, presenting a poignant and inclusive event for 2020.”
The programme will include a new arrangement by Errollyn Wallen of Hubert Parry’s Jerusalem alongside new orchestral versions of Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 Land of Hope and Glory (arr. Anne Dudley) and Rule, Britannia! as part of the Sea Songs, as Henry Wood did in 1905.
The Proms announces that violinist Lisa Batiashvili will be joining soprano Golda Schultz, conductor Dalia Stasevska and the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the Last Night performing favourite works from the repertoire including Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending.