One phrase, above all, proved Andrew Morley to be a worthy candidate to succeed Peter Craddock as conductor of the HSO.
At the end of his ‘audition’ concert, he caressed the lilting second subject of the finale of Tchaikovsky’s second symphony in a way that induced smiles all around.
This was a magical moment reflecting a true marriage of musicianship and technique, and it was no wonder the orchestra joined the audience in enthusiastic applause at the end.
From the opening of Nielsen’s tricky Helios Overture, Morley had shown a command of sustained musical development, and he and the players delivered a sharp-witted Little Suite No 2 by Malcolm Arnold.
Elgar’s Cello Concerto seemed to be a work in progress for young Israeli soloist Adi Tal – everything in place and deeply-felt, but not communicated as strongly as it should be.
Throughout the programme, Morley drew the usual high standards from the woodwind.