Letter: Proms: choral chauvinism or jolly good fun?

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The Independent Online
Sir: So Arthur Jacobs wants to internationalise the Last Night of the Proms and jettison its baggage of imperialism ('Dear John Drummond', 9 September). Can we not have one celebration of British music, albeit of the crowd-pulling variety, in the calendar? And what more fitting occasion than the close of the world's (and our) greatest festival of music?

As for the imperialistic echoes, who actually believes that the thousands who raise their voices in the Royal Albert Hall, or sing along at home, harbour imperialistic urges? Is each and every chorus member who does the Mozart Requiem up and down the land in any year a God-fearing mortal, let alone a Christ-disciple, let alone a devout Catholic? If not, so what? There is no difficulty about participating in great music and objectively seeing its verbal text as the historical or sociological document it is - except for Arthur Jacobs and his fellow cringers.

Yours faithfully,

BRIAN NEWBOULD

Department of Music

University of Hull

Hull

9 September

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