Last night at the Proms: BBC’s makeover of Jerusalem raised eyebrows


It is known as England’s unofficial anthem, but even Jerusalem was not safe from BBC Proms chiefs last night.

A new arrangement of Sir Hubert Parry’s 1916 hymn raised eyebrows at the Last Night of the Proms yesterday, with its composer opting to tone down its “patriotic nature” in favour of a more “reflective” piece.

The composer, Errollyn Wallen, was commissioned by the BBC to refresh the classic, and acknowledged that her version of Jerusalem was “radically different in the first half”, with dramatic starts and stops and even a nod to the blues. It was sung by the South African soprano Golda Schultz.

The surprisingly chaotic version of the song did not go down well online. Libby Purves, the critic, wrote: “With all


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