A night of great personality, powerful feeling and big tunes with the BSO at Lighthouse, Poole.

Much appreciated first-time guests to the orchestra, conductor Gábor Káli and pianist Marie-Ange Nguci, drew roistering performances of the Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky works on the programme. This was a showcase of the power of symphonic music. It reminded us of the value of having a full-scale orchestra and such wonderful visiting artists here in BSO land.

The account was opened with The Rock – Rachmaninov’s first published work and a colourful display of the splendours to come from this troubled but inspiring composer whose music remains so hugely popular with audiences.

Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, which followed, has one of the most arresting and memorable openings of all, thundered out here with astonishing power by the dynamic figure of Ms Nguci. The slow movement offered some beautiful respite, but all was secured in the triumph of the final pages of this marvellous work. Tchaikovsky had a telling way with a memorable tune, especially when moulded, caressed and projected with such loving power as by these forces.

In a little promo video on bsolive.com, Mr Káli explains that he finds great assurance in the final pages of Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances (the composer’s last work). When conducted with this degree of pizzazz, he is no doubt correct. Exercising the full colour, range and sheer volume of the BSO throughout the whole work left everyone present dazzled. The conjunction of composer, conductor and players added up to a wonderful and memorable experience for the audience. Big tunes to run round in the memory for ages to come.

Thanks, Tom! 

We also received this 5*review from Bachtrack who said “The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra seems to be on a roll.”

If you’d like to watch this concert on catch up click here, available until 19 May