Two and a half hours is nowhere near enough to cover the decades of music produced by the BBC Studios Natural History Unit, for its dozens of multi award-winning shows. So, at the heart of this “Earth” Prom (two performances in one day) was a new commission: a 40-minute, five-movement “Earth Symphony”, based on the soundtracks to Planet Earth II (2016), Blue Planet II (2017), and Seven Worlds, One Planet (2019).
Using music by Oscar-winning, Hollywood legend Hans Zimmer, in addition to Jasha Klebe and David Fleming, composer Iain Farrington has created an inspiring, holistic work. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra gave a full-bodied, rousing performance, and seemed to be loving every moment. Special mention must go to the finely controlled solo cello in the first and final movements (Alison Lawrance).
In his Proms debut, conductor Ben Palmer also managed to sync the music up with the specially-created video content from the beloved programmes, accompanying every single piece. This, in addition to expert presenting by Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin, made the Prom very accessible, with the whole audience laughing and gasping throughout.
With the hotly-anticipated Frozen Planet II (2022) due to air in September, we were dazzled by the live premiere of a new song by Hans Zimmer and Camilla Cabello, featuring spine-tingling vocals performed by Norwegian singer AURORA, another highlight. Be sure to tune in for the TV broadcast later this month.
Tickets for all 72 Proms are available from just £7.12 on the BBC Proms 2022 website.