BOURNEMOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA at Portsmouth Guildhall
Followers of the BBC Young Musician competition will remember Jennifer Pike as the then-youngest winner in 2002.
She was only 12 then, and last night she showed how far she has come since, giving a mature yet mercurial performance of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No 5.
Her playing was delicately stylish, with no display for its own sake, yet she was alert to every abrupt change of mood.
She was well-supported by the BSO conducted by Douglas Boyd – but he was less consistently effective elsewhere.
In a disappointingly brief selection of Sibelius’s incidental music for Pelleas et Melisande, he laboured At The Castle Gate to the point of portentousness, and was leaden-footed also in Melisande At The Spinning Wheel.
But he showed what he could achieve with the help of a characterful cor anglais solo in the portrait of Melisande herself, and finally in softly, movingly depicting her death.
There was a similar disparity between movements in Dvorak’s eighth symphony.
The third had all the grace the composer requested and the finale all the fire, but the slow movement almost collapsed under the weight of its own inertia, so slow was the tempo.
Considering the BSO had a large number of deputies and triallists in key positions, the playing was generally classy throughout the concert.