Land of Hope and Glory
A Festival of Epic British Music
This bracing collection of British classics features some of the finest celebratory music ever composed.
1. Walton - Crown Imperial
Walton's Crown Imperial was the product of a nation enjoying the last vestiges of Edwardian pomp and ceremony in grand Elgarian style.
2. Parry - I was glad
Parry, one of the most respected English late-Romantic composers, originally composed I Was Glad for the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 and revised it in 191, when he added the glorious organ introduction familiar from performances today.
3. Holst - I vow to Thee, my Country
Holst's tune pulls at the heart-strings as it is, but the Band of the Coldstream Guards' version is stately and thought-provoking - a fine piece to honour our troops.
4-8. Stanford - Songs of the Sea
This is a setting of five poems by Stanford's then friend a poet laureate. 'Drakes Drum' and 'Devon, O Devon' celebrate the life of Sir Francis Drake, the man who triumphed over the Spanish Armada in 1588, while 'The Old superb' refers to Nelson's continual hounding of the French fleet
9. Elgar - Nimrod
'Enigma' Variations is effectively a series of character portraits dedicated 'to my friends pictured within. 'Nimrod' alludes to Elgar's publisher, Jaegar. Interestingly, today 'Nimrod' has emerged as one of the most popular pieces of classical music for funerals.
10. Coates - Knightsbridge
Arguably, the most gifted light-music composer England has ever produced, Eric Coates started out life as a viola player in several distinguished orchestras and string quartets. Knightsbridge has been as a signature tune for BBC Radio's in Town Tonight program.
11. Walton - Orb and Sceptre
Another fantastically royal piece from William Walton, which received its premiere at the coronation. It calls to mind the 'Globus cruciger' held by monarchs through the ages, symbolising Christ's authority over the world.
12. Elgar - Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1
A huge fan of chivalry in all its forms, the ‘pomp and circumstance’ of his marches’ titles comes from Shakespeare’s Othello (the ‘pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war’ from Act III, Scene 3).
13. Parry - Jerusalem
Sometimes seen as an anthem for the English, Jerusalem was set to music by Parry in 1916 and made such an impact that Elgar himself made this stunning orchestration.
14. Wood - Fantasia on British Sea Songs
A medley of British sea songs arranged by Sir Henry Wood in 1905. Wood began the first of the series of 'Proms' in 1895 and Wood went on to conduct almost every Prom for the next 50 years often including Fantasia on British Sea Songs.
15. Aren - Rule Britannia
Another popular favourite during the 'Last Night' of Proms, Rule Britannia was the unforgettable inspiration of Thomas Arne. Thomas Arne was a prolific composer, whose tally of stage works ran to over 100 including seven based on Shakespeare alone.