Review: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Portsmouth Guildhall

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Conductor Andrew Litton and violinist Vadim Gluzman proved a match made in musical heaven in Bruch’s popular G minor concerto.

Litton’s mastery of the artfully delayed downbeat in the cause of expressive emphasis was never more evident – sometimes seeming about to stretch the line beyond breaking-point but never quite doing so. And Gluzman embraced the headily romantic style while displaying a subtle array of tone-colours. Wow!

The remainder of the programme was theatre-related, beginning with the Overture to a Drama composed by Erich Korngold when he was 14. Yes, it is over-blown at times, but the writing is assured and bears evidence of the mighty composer he was to become not only in Hollywood but in his seriously under-valued symphony.

Litton kept a tight hold on the reins in excerpts from Wagner’s opera, Die Meistersinger, and then gave the BSO players their heads in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier Suite. Although this performance was voluptuous, it was never vulgarised. Wow again!