Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Last Night looms

It's the Last Night of the Proms today. What's the matter with everyone? Why are people not jumping up and down, shouting about disgusting jingoism?

Several possibilities.

1. We're all looking forward to it a lot, especially to hearing Susan Bullock and to witnessing - if it's filmed - Lang Lang's dizzy dash from park to platform.

2. We need something to celebrate at the moment, the Proms are worth celebrating and this is how they are traditionally celebrated. This has been a vintage year, to put it mildly.

3. The country is becoming more nationalistic as times grow harder.

4. The Last Night is finally being recognised for what it truly is: a bit of good old harmless fun to raise the spirits.

Which is your favourite explanation?

My music column for Standpoint's September issue is all about how special this year's Proms have been: virtually every concert was a talking point and a mini-festival in its own right. (This was written well before certain events last week, incidentally.)
Did you know that people care this much about classical music? They do. And in a world full of cyber-chatter, talking about what you care about has never been easier — or more important in spreading the message about its existence. Talking points at the Proms have been the festival's best marketing tool in years.
Read the whole thing here. There's a very snazzy pic of The Dude on site.