Live from the Royal Albert Hall, London
Presented by Katie Derham
A vibrantly colourful all-English Prom with the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales and conductor Laureate Tadaaki Otaka - a notable advocate of British music.
The programme opens with Vaughan Williams's Tallis Fantasia, which uses the hidden spaces of the Royal Albert Hall acoustic to full effect. The first of two oratorios marks the 50th anniversary of the death of John Ireland, organist, choirmaster and Professor of Composition at the Royal College of Music. These Things Shall Be was commissioned by the BBC for the coronation of King George VI in 1937, setting a utopian text. The bass-baritone soloist is former Radio 3 new Generation Artist Jonathan Lemalu, who also takes the commanding role in Walton's dramatic retelling of the Biblical story, Belshazzar's Feast. With full orchestra and chorus augmented by two brass bands, it promises to raise the roof. Delius is another Proms anniversary for 2012, celebrated here with the Walk to the Paradise Garden from his opera A Village Romeo and Juliet.
Tadaaki Otaka enjoys a long and prosperous relationship with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, first as Principal Conductor (1987-95) and since as Laureate. In 2000 he was awarded the Elgar Medal for his services to British music.
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Ireland: These Things Shall Be
Jonathan Lemalu (bass-baritone)
BBC Symphony Chorus
BBC National Chorus of Wales
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Tadaaki Otaka (conductor)
This Prom will be repeated on Tuesday 7th August at 2pm.