Review: Power and Passion with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky, Grieg & Sibelius

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s latest Guildhall concert was full of some of the best-known tunes in the classical repertoire. In an age of iPads and iPests, live classical music is a real treat and the BSO is showing the way with its sparkling performances.

After its dark introduction, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet developed into a rich and bright romance. The violins sounded as if the two lovers weren’t yet too sure about each other but the BSO’s “golden soul” – its ‘cello section – soon brought a rich and ardent passion to their playing.

Hearing musicians introduce a programme is a rare pleasure, so conductor Stephen Bell’s humour showed that musicians aren’t posh and aloof. Bell reminded us of the Morecambe and Wise sketch containing the words “I played all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order”. And so we were treated to Greig’s famous piano concerto. Pianist Tom Poster was no Eric – he played all the right notes in the right order with astonishing virtuosity and flair. The orchestra also enjoyed themselves (a bit too loudly on occasion). The cadenza was particularly good, showcasing Poster’s brilliance and delicacy.

At the end, a packed house showed rapturous appreciation.

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