While actually travelling to the USA remains a daunting prospect for most of us, the BSO’s second offering in its Autumn season at Lighthouse, Poole, took us on a high-spirited tour of some top American musical landmarks.

With Kirill Karabits on the podium, the orchestra began with Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. There was a freshness and sparkle to this performance which defied the falling leaves outside and brought out the dancing brilliancy of the music. The full orchestral arrangement of this work also allowed some heft and substance to enliven proceedings.

For lovers of opulent violin playing, the Barber concerto is always going to be a touchstone. This performance had the added attraction of the subtle and thoughtful Valeriy Sokolov as soloist. His delicate interpretation offered an insight into the profound feeling of the first two movements. Any sense of sadness or nostalgia, though, was blown away in the dazzling Presto in moto perpetuo which roared off like something Galactic. Edward Kay’s oboe solo in the Andante was also a pure delight.

After the interval we were definitely in the theatre with Gershwin’s Catfish Row – the suite from his opera Porgy and Bess. The story has its dark undertones which were represented in the music from the murder and hurricane scenes, but there are also plenty of catchy tunes – many very well known as standards of their repertoire. Solo moments all round the orchestra provided great opportunities for the BSO’s brilliant instrumentalists to strut their stuff – not least the guest banjo player, Mitch Dalton.

The performance made a great case for the work as a whole, rather than just a selection of famous songs.

Housekeeping was all comfortably and conveniently arranged at Lighthouse – and there are some brilliant concerts planned in the next few months. There’s every reason to book now!

View our  highlights from the concert below!

We also recieved reviews from Bachtrack and the Bournemouth Echo.“…a great showpiece for orchestra, Karabits coaxed marvellously detailed and affectionate playing,” Bachtrack 

“The ovation for conductor and orchestra was long and loud, as though to tell them just how much evenings like this have been missed.” Bournemouth Echo 

To see what else we’ve got coming up this season, click here