Describe a musical event in your country.
You should say:
What the event it is
Where it takes place
What kind of music is played
And explain why you enjoy it.
I’m going to tell you today about a major musical event in my Country, which is England in the UK. I’ll tell you what it is, where and when it takes place, the sort of music and why I think it is so significant… even though I’m not sure I’d really say I personally enjoy it!
The event I want to talk about is the BBC Proms. This is an annual summer festival that has been taking place since 1895 so is a well-established fixture in the UK. The festival is of orchestral classical music, the main focus of the festival is the impressive Royal Albert Hall in London, which is a huge domed venue that seats over 5,500 people. As well as the daily concerts there are lots of satellite events in schools and parks, over the eight week period there are probably more than 100 concerts. Some dedicated ‘Prommers’ will get season tickets and attend as many of these as they can.
I’m not entirely sure why this concert season is known as ‘The ‘Proms’. I know Prom is short for Promenade concert, and I suppose originally these were outside events where people could stroll around (promenade) whilst the music was playing. Now, within the hall itself, I don’t think strolling around is approved of! However, unusually for classical concerts, at the BBC Proms, there are lots of extra tickets made available for standing only. These are comparatively cheap tickets allowing concert-goers to stand in the arena and gallery areas of the hall. Consequently, the concerts are always packed and accessible to far wider audiences than is usual for classical music which is often too expensive for ordinary people to afford to attend.
Although The Proms go on for eight weeks, the really famous event is the closing concert or ‘Last Night of the Proms’. This is always televised and sometimes big screens are put up in parks across London so people who couldn’t get tickets to the event can still watch and join in with the atmosphere. Traditionally this closing concert is quite raucous! People will dress up in patriotic costumes and wave union jack flags. This last concert in the series is usually quite light in tone, with popular classics in the first half, followed by rousing British Patriotic pieces in the second half which many audience members will join in singing with gusto! The sequence traditionally includes pieces by English composers such as Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ and Arne’s ‘Rule Britannia’ and usually concludes with a rendition of ‘Jerusalem’ and the British National Anthem. Informally, post-concert, audiences often spontaneously break out and sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ but it isn’t a formal part of the program, rather a newly emerged tradition.
虽然逍遥音乐会持续八周，但最著名的活动是闭幕音乐会或“逍遥音乐会的最后一夜”。伦敦的公园里经常有电视转播，有时还会放上大屏幕，这样那些买不到门票的人还可以观看比赛，并融入其中。传统上，这场闭幕音乐会非常喧闹!人们会穿上爱国服装，挥舞英国国旗。这个系列的最后一场演唱会通常基调都很淡，前半段是流行的经典，后半段是激动人心的英国爱国歌曲，很多观众会加入到演唱的行列中来!这一序列传统上包括英国作曲家的作品，如埃尔加的《盛况与环境》和阿恩的《统治不列颠》，通常以演奏《耶路撒冷》和英国国歌结束。在非正式场合，音乐会结束后，观众通常会自发地唱出《友谊地久天长》(Auld Lang Syne)，但这并不是正式节目的一部分，而是一种新出现的传统。
For many, the Last Night of the Proms is quintessentially English. A display of patriotism and a celebration of English Music and traditions. Tickets are extremely hard to come by and although the preceding eight weeks of concerts are really aimed at classical music aficionados, the last night is certainly widely watched and enjoyed.
For my own part, I have to admit a little sheepishly it isn’t really my thing. I sometimes feel uncomfortable with all the displays of patriotic fervor and think some of the sentiments expressed are rather old-fashioned and inappropriate. Even so, it is an impressive tradition, and if you were a visitor from overseas who happened to be in London in the second week in September I’d definitely encourage you to get along and experience it if you could. You will see English pomp and ceremony, hear British composers and be amazed at how even the stereotypically reserved British, can indeed sometimes be persuaded to come out to play!