Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Portsmouth Guildhall

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A RARE Saturday night concert in Portsmouth for the BSO underlined its versatility, proving it can play American music as well as most Americans do.

The performances were electrifying - from the wit and exuberance of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide Overture to the dramatic contrasts of the Symphonic Dances he created from West Side Story, with the violence of street warfare framed by the haunting Somewhere theme.

Copland’s Appalachian Spring had memorable clarinet and flute solos, and the playing of the anthem-like folksong, The Gift to be Simple, was notably well held together by English conductor David Hill.

He was again masterly in his control of the cowboy style of Buckaroo Holiday and Hoe-Down from Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo.