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|Big Proms Organ Rises to Occasion
- First notes of 2004 BBC event to be heard on restored instrument
THE INFLUENCE of eastern culture on western music is one of the themes of the Proms, which starts this weekend with notes played on a newly restored 1871 organ, Britain's biggest, at the Royal Albert Hall.
The organ, refurbished at a cost of UKP1.7 million, will be heard in the opening ceremony and then off the Proms go; its first evening, on Friday, made up of work by Bach, Elgar and Holst.
The eastern theme kicks off in Prom 6 next Tuesday with Zhou Long's The Immortal. The idea that the theme is a response to the political situation is perhaps dispelled by the fact that here 'east' most often means 'far
east' and not the Islamic tradition.
Other themes this year are Back to Bohemia, dominated by Dvorak and Janacek, and England at the Crossroads: 1934, the year Elgar, Delius and Holst died. Dvorak's Dimitrij is the highlight this Sunday, the 18th. Saturday goes under the banner of The Nation's Favourite Prom, which features highly popular work such as Mozart's Marriage of Figaro and Tchaikovsky's '1812' Overture.