Proms 2018

For the last 10 days we've been counting down to the Last Night of the Proms by adding clips from across the season that reflect the quality and breadth of a summer of music-making. It wasn't easy to make our selections, and we could have picked many more, but we hope you enjoy them.

As for the Last Night itself, be sure to join us...

On Radio 3 from 19:15 to 23:00.

The first half of Last Night of the Proms will be on BBC Two from 19:15 to 21:00, and available to watch later here.

The second half will be on BBC One from 21:00 to 22:30, and available later here.

Encore! The orchestra that sang Brahms

[WATCH] The Budapest Festival Orchestra play - and sing - Brahms's Hungarian Dance No 4

What a wonderful moment this was - the end of a fabulous night that saw Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra celebrate Hungary's national music by tracing the development of folk songs and dance, from their colourful, rough-hewn originals into virtuosic concert-hall reimaginings by Liszt, Brahms and Sarasate. Who knew they were such good singers as well as players.

Prom 55: Iván Fischer & Budapest Festival Orchestra (II)

An iconic Proms song as you've never heard it before

[LISTEN] Joseph Tawadros plays Land of Hope and Glory

Oud maestro Joseph Tawadros applied different rules to a Last Night favourite in this magic moment from a lunchtime Prom at Cadogan Hall at which jazz and folk met traditional Arabic music. The oud is an ancient Middle-Eastern lute, and we're pretty sure Elgar would have approved of this fascinating twist on his patriotic song.

Proms at ... Cadogan Hall 3: Ancient Rituals and New Tales

On the Town on Bernstein's birthday

[WATCH] Leonard Bernstein's 'On the Town' in 3 Minutes

First of two Leonard Bernstein clips now, both from his musicals. Launching a Bernstein bank-holiday weekend on what would have been the composer’s 100th birthday, John Wilson conducted his hit Broadway show On the Town, which follows the adventures of three sailors on shore leave in 1944 and features such classic songs as New York, New York and Lonely Town.

Prom 57: John Wilson conducts Bernstein's On the Town

West Side Story in West London

[WATCH] Highlights mix from Bernstein's West Side Story

For many, this was the highlight of the season - Bernstein's West Side Story, which bursts with violent, sensual rhythms and big-hearted melodies. This most popular of musicals updates the story of Romeo and Juliet, transplanting the action to the warring white American and Puerto Rican gangs of Manhattan. John Wilson, his orchestra, and a starry array of singers made it a night to remember.

Prom 39: West Side Story

Yuja Wang performs with the Berlin Philharmonic

[LISTEN] Yuja Wang performs Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No 3 with the Berlin Philharmonic (from 27 mins)

The world-class Berlin Philharmonic rolled into London for two concerts on the weekend of 1 and 2 September and it was the first time for Prommers to see the legendary orchestra under Simon Rattle's successor Kirill Petrenko, who formally becomes chief conductor next year. Even better, at the first of their concerts, superstar pianist Yuja Wang was soloist for Prokofiev's explosive Third Piano Concerto. Hold on tight, because this was extraordinary.

Prom 66: Berlin Philharmonic & Kirill Petrenko (I)

Sir András Schiff was back for Bach

[WATCH] Sir András Schiff performs Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2, No. 12

Few things can match the serenity and wonder of hearing a single instrument being played in the Royal Albert Hall at a late-night concert, and especially not if it's pianist Sir András Schiff performing Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier. In 2017, we heard Book 1; at this year's Proms, Schiff completed the two-year project, telling us that the work was "one of the monuments of human culture".

Prom 63: Sir András Schiff plays The Well-Tempered Clavier (Book 2)

Brahms's cathedral of sound

[WATCH] Johannes Brahms: A German Requiem

Some truly goosebumps-inducing music now, as Richard Farnes conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra and soloists Golda Schultz and Johan Reuter in Brahms's German Requiem. Composed between 1865 and 1868, it became the composer's breakthrough work and it's unusual for a requiem, insofar as it's a humanist rather than a Christian work, written to comfort the living rather than bless the dead.

Prom 33: Brahms's A German Requiem

For folk's sake

[WATCH] Highlights from the Folk Music Prom

At Prom 27, the BBC Concert Orchestra under Stephen Bell collaborated with some of the folk world's leading musicians, including Julie Fowlis, The Unthanks and Sam Lee. The concert celebrated the history and evolution of the folk music scene in Britain and Ireland while also looking to the future of this ever-evolving genre.

Prom 27: Folk Music around Britain and Ireland

New York, we love you

[WATCH] New York: Sound of a City Highlights

What does New York sound like today? And who are the new voices speaking for the city? Prom 35 sought to find out by pairing Jules Buckley's Heritage Orchestra with dance music outfit Hercules & Love Affair and a diverse range of singers and rappers, each with a wildly different take on life in the city that never sleeps. Here are some wide-awake highlights from a fantastic late-night concert.

Prom 35: New York: Sound of a City

A pioneering take on an already visionary piece

[WATCH] Daphne Oram: Still Point - excerpt

Daphne Oram's visionary Still Point filled the cavernous space of the Royal Albert Hall for the first time in the premiere of a revised realisation by James Bulley, Shiva Feshareki and the London Contemporary Orchestra based on recently discovered archive material. Composed in 1949 - almost a decade before Oram co-founded the BBC Radiophonic Workshop - the piece was possibly the first to combine a live orchestra with live electronic manipulations, with turntables played here by Shiva Feshareki.

Prom 13: Pioneers of Sound

Teenage kicks are hard to beat

[WATCH] Modest Mussorgsky: A Night on the Bare Mountain (orch. Rimsky-Korsakov)

The National Youth Orchestra playing at the Proms is always a highlight of the season. Last year they smashed it performing Stravinsky's Rite of Spring; this year their concert featured pieces by Mussorgsky, Ravel, Ligeti, Debussy and their conductor George Benjamin. Here's the orchestra getting all the drama, intrigue and power out of Mussorgsky's epic A Night on the Bare Mountain.

Prom 28: NYO perform Mussorgsky, Ligeti and Debussy

An awe-inspiring festival opener

[WATCH] Anna Meredith/59 Productions: Five Telegrams - Sender & Receiver

The Proms began in breathtaking style with a collaboration between composer Anna Meredith and design company 59 Productions. Together, they developed an unprecedented, large-scale work called Five Telegrams that commemorated the end of the Great War 100 years ago. Here you can see combined footage from inside the Royal Albert Hall on the First Night and outside, the day before.

Prom 1: First Night of the Proms

That moment when Havana met Kingston

[WATCH] Highlights mix of the Havana Meets Kingston Prom

Masterminded by reggae and dancehall producer Mister Savona, the Havana Meets Kingston project united over 100 of the finest musicians from Cuba and Jamaica for a historic recording session in 2017. Roots and dub music seamlessly met son and salsa on the album, and on 31 July the project came to the Proms for a spicy late-night concert. Have a dance to the highlights, above.

Prom 23: Havana Meets Kingston

Miloš Karadaglić - guitar hero

[LISTEN] Joby Talbot's Ink Dark Moon for guitar and orchestra

At the heart of the Proms is new music. This year there have been over 20 world premieres of either BBC commissions or co-commissions, a further eight world premieres, and 12 UK or London premieres. Joby Talbot's Ink Dark Moon for guitar and orchestra was a BBC commission and it received its world premiere on 2 August. It was performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Alexander Vedernikov with guitarist Miloš Karadaglić as the soloist.

Prom 25: Tchaikovsky, Glinka & Joby Talbot

Happy 100th birthday, Holst's The Planets

[LISTEN] Headphone mix of Holst's The Planets

Gustav Holst's epic The Planets is a Proms classic and, 100 years after its premiere, it was given special billing - as part of the First Night of the festival, performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo. You'll need plug your headphones in to experience the full scope of this incredible binaural sound recording.

Prom 1: First Night of the Proms

Laura Mvula's Love Like a Lion

[WATCH] The BBC Singers perform Love Like a Lion by Laura Mvula

The season-long lunchtime concerts on Mondays at Cadogan Hall each featured a new work by a woman composer, including Laura Mvula, who wrote Love Like a Lion for a performance by the BBC Singers titled The Sense of An Ending. Also featured was Hubert Parry's Songs of Farewell and music by Holst and Vaughan Williams.

Proms at ... Cadogan Hall 6 – The Sense of An Ending

Tai Murray delivered the sound of the summer

[WATCH] The Lark Ascending performed by Tai Murray

This was stunning. Just as the country was basking in a heatwave, American violinist Tai Murray played a summer classic - Vaughan Williams's impossibly beautiful The Lark Ascending - backed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Martyn Brabbins. You could hear a pin drop in the Royal Albert Hall.

Prom 17: Parry, Vaughan Williams & Holst

Jacob Collier: from YouTube to... the Royal Albert Hall

[WATCH] Highlights mix from Jacob Collier and friends

"This has been a beacon in my diary for about a year," Jacob Collier told us ahead of his Prom on 19 July. "The Proms are everything life is all about: people coming together, and joy and music and celebration and togetherness... and London, which is the best city in the world." And what a night it turned out to be. The 23-year-old YouTube sensation teamed up with Jules Buckley, the Metropole Orkest and special guests Sam Amidon and Take 6 for a very special performance.

Prom 7: Jacob Collier and Friends

An Estonian (and Georgian) takeover

[WATCH] Prom 42: Grieg's Piano Concerto

A Prom that was so spectacular we're adding the full concert. This was a night that saw the Estonian Festival Orchestra make their Proms debut with their founder and conductor Paavo Järvi in quite some style. First, they were joined by Khatia Buniatishvili as soloist in Grieg's Piano Concerto. Next was Arvo Pärt's Symphony No 3, performed in front of the great man himself, who then delighted Prommers by skipping onstage to take a bow. And the evening finished with a rousing rendition of Sibelius's evergreen Symphony No 5. It was pure joy, from beginning to end.

Prom 42: Grieg's Piano Concerto

New life for an old classic

[LISTEN] MusicAeterna perform Beethoven's 5th Symphony

Any orchestra that takes on Beethoven's Symphony No 5 needs to find ways to breathe new life into it, and at Prom 18 Teodor Currentzis and his ensemble MusicAeterna did so by going back in time and using period instruments. This was a tense and immense performance.

Prom 18: Currentzis conducts Beethoven

(Okay, that's 20 moments in total. But, hey, there was a lot to choose from.)

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