THE QUEEN'S HALL ORCHESTRA
THE LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
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FANTASIA ON BRITISH SEA SONGS (side 2 of 4)
(Tom Bowling and Sailor's Hornpipe) (arr. Wood)
COLUMBIA 954 recorded November 1939
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THE RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES (Wagner)
DECCA K762 recorded 1 May 1935
(2 sides, 5'00")
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wood
Sir Henry Wood was of course a leading orchestral conductor long before broadcasting: he was well established by the time he started the Promenade Concerts at Queen's Hall in 1895. The intention was to bring classical music to as wide an audience as possible, and the atmosphere - including allowing the audience to walk around, hence the name, designed to attract people who might have been put off by the usual more formal approach.

Wood was a superb conductor - his records show excellent orchestral control - and was responsible for many innovations in the field of music - not least insisting that the orchestra all tune to the same pitch before beginning, something which had not been common before (!).

The BBC took over the running of the Proms in 1927, with Wood continuing to conduct. With the destruction of Queen's Hall in an air-raid in 1941 the concerts moved to the Royal Albert Hall where they have continued ever since (apart from a brief period elsewhere in the last year of the war).

Wood died in 1944, the Proms continuing under other conductors and then under Sir Malcom Sargent from 1947-1966.
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(Mouse over the details for notes on each record)
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