The first Proms concert took place on 10 August 1895 and were named after the manager of the newly built Queen’s Hall in London who ‘created’ the idea. “Mr Robert Newman’s Promenade Concerts’ began and the programmes lasted around 3 hours each! I February of 1895 Newman offered Henry Wood conductorship of a permanent orchestra of the first Proms season.
Despite moving to the Albert Hall, a few World Wars which briefly stopped play, the Proms continue today in with much the same concept; to present the widest range of music, performed to the highest standards, to large audiences.
And you are still able to promenade in the Royal Albert Hall’s arena in the central area, lending the Proms its unique informal atmosphere.
This evening, the Director of Fun and I headed off to the Albert Hall clutching our tickets to see and hear Debussy – Pelléas et Mélisande. Surprisingly enough the sun was shining (albeit not warmly) and the light showed some of the buildings in the vicinity a true delight.
Inside the Albert Hall, I can’t help but once again be in awe of the beauty of the building, the splendour and design. Tier up on tier of seats, boxes and gallery. Below us is the open plan ‘arena’ where ticketholders can sit, stand, promenade or dance (just so long as they do it quietly!).
The concert was amazing, the voices reaching the upper echelons of the building. The audience captured in the music, voice and story unfolding before us. You could hear a penny drop but fortunately there were none! In the first intermission, many people begin clearing their throats – always a funny moment to think they’d been trying hard not to do so during the performance but together sounds more like a musical cacophony of illness!
Beautiful performances and I will try hard to get to the Albert Hall for another before the end of the Proms season in September.
A few piccies on our walk home. I just love the Béla Bartók sculpture in South Kensington… particularly since there seems to be his dashing Grandson stood behind him!