Review: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Portsmouth Guildhall

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Electrifying, joyous, dramatic, life-enhancing.

A performance of Dvorak’s eighth symphony to resonate in the memory.

Veteran conductor Jose Serebrier permitted no messing with tempi and no mood-breaking pause between movements, giving the music a potent sense of cohesion.

But he did allow a tender touch of old-fashioned, nostalgic portamento (sliding between notes) in the third movement’s trio section – and this critic purred with pleasure.

All sections of the BSO played with both fire and subtlety, as they had in five of the same composer’s rarely-played Legends.

These are inconsistent in inspiration but utterly beguiling at their best – particularly, here, in No 9’s evocation of childlike innocence.

Swiss violinist Rachel Kolly d’Alba provided a French filling in Dvorak’s Czech sandwich in the form of Chausson’s Poeme and the Introduction And Rondo Capriccioso by Saint-Saens.

She played with massive intensity in the highly chromatic Poeme and crowd-pleasing sparkle in the Saint-Saens.

My only concern was that her highly mobile platform manner would threaten the safety of the front-desk orchestral violins – but they never flinched.