For most Brits The Last Night Of The Proms is a must whether they're classical music aficionados or not.

It's all about the great British patriotic emotions let loose, proud and uplifting.
Strange though to see among the red, white and blue Union Jacks held high the hundreds of European Union flags' blue with yellow stars as well.

Brexit may be a done deal but many of the Brits were keen to keep that flag flying.
Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo was elegant and witty in his role. A superb music meister.

Swedish opera singer Nina Stemme was sublime singing the Prelude and Liebstod from Wagner's opera Tristan and Isolde which would have brought many opera lovers to tears. However, her songs by Kurt Weill and George Gershwin didn't manage that same emotion in my opinion. There are some operatically trained voices and Stemme's is one, that do not translate well to the lighter music genre.


As this glorious concert progressed in the Royal Albert Hall in London there were fantastic live crosses to concerts in Hyde Park, Glasgow, Enniskillen in Northern Ireland and Swansea in Wales where it was noticeable there was a distinct lack of the EU blue and yellow flags.

Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel performing in the Hyde Park Concert If I were a Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof was glorious. He is as ever a wonderful performer with his mobile face that reaches across the footlights every time.

And for me as a Kiwi just seeing the sheer sizes of the audiences was astounding.
It makes New Zealand feel very small and quiet in comparison.

Hearing the BBC choir sing the choral version of Sibelius' Finlandia was mesmerising. Even though it's a rather sombre piece, it was powerful and as thought provoking as ever.

Fantasia on British Sea Songs arranged by Sir Henry Wood was airy, light and beautiful and of course the Hornpipe had everyone up and bobbing and loving every hornpipe moment.

Building for the brilliant finale began with Nina Stemmer striding on stage in full Valkyrie kit but for me she didn't whip up the emotions with her Rule Britannia ... I really thought there should have been more from her.

But true to annual last night proms The Edward Elgar Pomp and Circumstance March in D Major followed by Land of Hope and Glory brought that wonderful British patriotic fervour to the fore.

Then Jerusalem sung by the audience of thousands was stunning as it always is, I am told.


The Last Night Of The Proms, Sunday, on UK Television was a veritable musical feast an astounding annual concert.