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There's nothing quite as heady as being at the Last Night of the Proms. As the summer comes to a close and this great annual festival in London concludes, the crowds gather in the park to watch this event broadcast in the park (and now, in other British cities too). And those that have been lucky enough to get a ticket from the ballot allocation, crowd into the Royal Albert Hall. The core of the event is, of course, the second half, with such staples as Parry's Jerusalem, Arne's Rule Britannia, and, with considerable audience participation (voice, claps, whistling), Land of Hope and Glory and the Fantasia on British Sea Songs. Here, you can enjoy these highlights in studio performances, but, with a cast of superb soloists under Sir Roger Norrington's crackerjack direction, with all the frisson of the live event itself. Excitement apart, it all gets quite emotional too. This CD returns to the catalogue at super-budget price after a long absence from the Decca catalogue and the original liner notes are expanded to include a description of the making of this recording by its executive producer, Evans Mirageas.
“Sarah Walker is the vibrant mezzo in Arne's Rule Britannia, heard in Malcolm Sargent's expert arrangement...Thomas Allen is in top voice for Stanford's briny Songs of the Sea, with the opening Drake's Drum making an unforgettable impression.”
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