Programme note follow.
This year’s Virgin Money Fireworks Concert is a feast of pageantry and patriotism, celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and also echoing the Festival’s Shakespearean offerings.
Walton’s noble Orb and Sceptre march was written for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. It is followed by Vaughan Williams’s glowing pastoral evocation of the folk song ‘Greensleeves’. Prokofiev’s ballet score for Romeo and Juliet is where the greatest love story meets the greatest entertainment, and is well-known to viewers of the BBC’s The Apprentice. The concert’s triumphant conclusion is Walton’s music for Laurence Olivier’s great 1944 film Henry V.