Back in February, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) brought an outstanding Chinese violinist, Ning Feng, to Plymouth Guildhall, where he thrilled us all with his quite superb performance of the Brahms concerto.
For their second and final visit of 2019, the BSO was joined by another violinist – this time Russia’s Nikita Boriso-Glebsky – in another equally well-known concerto.
Whether there’s something about a Russian playing Russian music, this performance at least matched the Brahms in virtually every area, and possibly had the edge overall.
Second to none
This is not to imply that one soloist outshone the other, but rather to say that the orchestral accompaniment in the Tchaikovsky was, I felt, second to none, and for this, not only do the players deserve the highest praise, but also their conductor on this occasion, too.
An extra bond
BSO’s Young Conductor in Association, Polish-born Marta Gardolińska, really stamped her mark on the whole evening, but nowhere more so than in the concerto, where she seemed to have an extra bond, and empathy with the violin soloist – perhaps even some kind of Slavic Trinity with the Russian composer.
With Mozart’s ever-popular Marriage of Figaro Overture, an especially poignant and well-crafted performance of Sibelius’s Valse Triste, and a wee dram or two in the shape of Mendelssohn’s ‘Scottish’ Symphony, this proved yet another outstanding concert from the BSO.
Packed in Plymouth
It was so encouraging to see another packed house, which, as I commented last time, would seem to confirm that the Plymouth is more than ready to support at least one more visit a year, even if the distance from the BSO’s base in Poole, Dorset, is some fifty miles further than Exeter, where, more recently, they have always enjoyed disproportionately more visits.
If, however, you don’t want to travel to the county town, then there’s always the BSO’s next Plymouth visit to look forward to.
Not surprisingly, given that 2020 is Beethoven’s 250th birthday, the programme features two much-loved works by the German master, his ‘Pastoral’ Symphony, and Piano Concerto No 4. The concert opens with another Mozart appetiser, this time his Don Giovanni Overture. Marta Gardolińska conducts once more, with Venezuelan pianist Alfredo Ovalles joining the BSO in the concerto.
Meanwhile, you can read my full review of the present concert here at Seen and Heard International
Philip R Buttall