Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Portsmouth Guildhall

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The BSO and their chief conductor Kirill Karabits brought an all-Russian programme to the Guildhall on Friday, beginning with a lively rendition of Stravinsky’s Fireworks, the music which first brought him recognition.

Truls Mork was a commanding soloist in Prokofiev’s Symphony-Concerto for cello and orchestra.

This large-scale concerto was written for the great Mstislav Rostropovich and demands a command of line, shape and tone as well as the customary virtuoso dexterity.

Mork achieved an excellent rapport with orchestra and conductor, and gained a deserved ovation from an enthusiastic audience.

The concert concluded with something of a rarity, an extended selection from one of Tchaikovsky’s greatest works, the ballet The Sleeping Beauty. Hearing a wide selection of this music, some 40 minutes expertly chosen from a full score lasting nearly three hours, proved a revelation.

The BSO visibly enjoyed themselves and achieved standards of international calibre. Among many highlights, the rich toned and powerful conclusion of the Rose Adagio will remain long in the memory, while the great Waltz from Act One was shaped with sympathetic care for line and detail. Tchaikovsky was above all a man of the theatre and this performance was a reminder of why this was so.#