Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Portsmouth Guildhall

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The BSO opened the new Music in Portsmouth season with an enterprising programme of Stravinsky, Britten and Beethoven.

Principal conductor Kirill Kababits directed a fresh and vital account of Stravinsky’s neoclassical Pulcinella Suite, which offered player after player the opportunity to display solo prowess. A highlight among many was the witty duet between double bass and trombone, expertly played by David Daly and Kevin Morgan.

Real singers don’t require a microphone, of course, and in Benjamin Britten’s Les Illuminations tenor Mark Padmore had complete command of the Guildhall’s large auditorium. Supporting him the BSO strings were also superlative in their accuracy and range of tone in a performance which brought out the full range of this extraordinary work.

Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony formed the second half, and it was given a spirited rendition in which the positioning of violins either side of the conductor brought out many interesting details within the texture. Again the playing was first rate, and a special mention goes to principal bassoon Chris Cooper for his brief but demanding solo in the finale.

Anyone who missed this fine concert or would like to catch up with it again has the chance to hear it broadcast on Sunday afternoon.