‘All orchestration and no music’ was Ravel’s description of his Boléro,
It is true that this extraordinary masterpiece requires the utmost discipline and skill of its performers, both individually and together.
The BSO in the Guildhall on Thursday delivered a veritable triumph, as player after player and section after section added to the powerful and mesmerising effect. No wonder it received a rousing ovation from a large and enthusiastic audience.
Conductor José Serebrier always seems to conjure an interesting programme, and here he began with the colourful Ibéria Suite of Albéniz, full of characterful Spanish rhythms, before joining with violinist Rachel Barton-Pine in Glazunov¹s Violin Concerto, an attractive if safely romantic piece which gained especially from her full and beautiful tone, as also did the Meditation by the same composer, a beautiful and sensitive encore which they have recently recorded together.
The richly varied and vibrant Gadfly Suite of Shostakovich completed the programme, combining delicacy at one extreme and powerful climaxes at the other in a committed and exciting performance.
One thought beyond the music why can’t the Guildhall follow the example of the London concert halls and remind people to switch off mobile phones before the evening’s proceedings begin?