Review: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Portsmouth Guildhall

Where to begin? At the beginning, perhaps, where Richard Strauss's Don Juan swaggered with the kind of lust for life and love that would make Casanova look a mere amateur.

Friday, 29th April 2016, 9:24 am
Updated Friday, 29th April 2016, 10:29 am
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Or at the end, where Tchaikovsky’s fourth symphony was no less dynamic. From a fiery start, through mighty crescendos well-controlled by conductor Thomas Dausgaard, it moved to a truly songful andante, and to a finale that made the previous impression of emotional volatility seem almost tame, though it wasn’t.

These were mighty performances to end the BSO’s Guildhall subscription season – yet the abiding memory is of Augustin Hadelich’s mastery in the Sibelius violin concerto.

From the rapt opening, both solo and orchestral sonorities were precisely judged, and when the pace quickened Hadelich was electrifying. He showed youthful bravura but was mature to his fingertips in the way he adapted his richness of tone, paring it down for the most exquisite of nuances.

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The orchestra was admirable in balancing its tone against the soloist’s - and he then added a dazzling encore in Paganini’s Caprice No 5.

Wow, wow and thrice wow.