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It's taken 104 years for Vaughan Williams's Heroic Elegy and Triumphal Epilogue to have its first fully professional outing. Composed in 1901 when he was still virtually unknown, and with no clues left as to its inspiration, the score is headed with a quote from the Bible's Song of Solomon, "Terrible as an army with banners". The first movement, Heroic Elegy, begins with an uneasily insistent string motif, over which a meandering theme is introduced on trombones then horns. The brass worries away at this material until a blazing climax is followed by a threatening timpani ostinato and suggestions of a martial violence are finally subdued with an eerie quietness.
Museums and galleries are all very well, but it's the houses of Britain's cultural greats which are worth writing home about. Jonathan Christie reports
Another night, another student orchestra. If you want to learn the secret of classical music's perennial good health, look no further; the conservatoires are bristling with talent. The Orion draws its players from all four London conservatoires, and the Sonitus Chamber Choir, which joined it for this event, does likewise. One purpose of this orchestra is to promote "unjustly forgotten masterpieces"; another is to give the players experience of working under real-world pressure.
Today, as is now the custom on New Year's Eve, the Government has published a long list of prominent British citizens whose achievements are being given formal recognition in the New Year's Honours List. From today, Terry Pratchett is officially known as Sir Terry. Twenty other men are similarly honoured, while hundreds of men and women now have initials after their names, such as CBE, OBE, and MBE.
As Roger Wright, the controller of Radio 3, takes charge of his second great British cultural institution, the new director of the Proms tells Ian Burrell of how he manages the fragile ecology of his radio network and tries to hold on to his listeners
The BBC Proms, which start tonight, are the world's greatest music festival. But they can seem forbidding. Jessica Duchen tells you how to be an instant expert