One of the pleasures of being back for the Spring 2023 section of the Poole Lighthouse season by the BSO was this ingenious, challenging programme of music – typical of the repertoire that the orchestra likes to explore.
The audience felt secure in the capable hands of Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits and, of course, with Artist-in-Residence Felix Klieser on the platform, there was a special warmth about the occasion. Mr Klieser made a very strong case for Ukrainian Reinhold Glière’s Horn Concerto. The work unfolds in an untroubled melodic style which is very attractive. There was something celebratory in the last movement which was particularly appropriate to the start of the New Year. His encore – Rossini’s Le Rendez-Vous de Chasse – reminded us the horn originally came indoors from the hunting field.
“A dynamic opening bloomed into a rich world of sound, full of ear-catching and fascinating effects which prompted the imagination “
The Ukrainian theme had been set in the opening work of the concert – the world premiere of a BSO commission by Anna Korsun called Terricone. It was great to hear some words of introduction to the piece from composer and conductor before the start. Ms Korsun is the new BSO Composer-in-Residence and this collaboration got her term with the orchestra off to a blistering start with a confident, expressive work. A dynamic opening bloomed into a rich world of sound, full of ear-catching and fascinating effects which prompted the imagination.
After the interval, the Second Symphony by Scriabin exploded before us into vivid, colourful life. In this work the composer employs an orchestral style painted in broad strokes of orchestral sound, each magicked by the BSO into a changing tableau of contrasting feelings. Exactly what was in the composer’s mind in the exuberant finale is not 100% clear – it appeared as if the Russian composer had been accidentally asked to write a coronation march for some early twentieth century British monarch.
BSO audiences have learned to rely upon Mr Karabits’ programmes to be thoughtfully chosen, musically engaging and beautifully performed. This is the result of years of ever-growing confidence between audience, players and conductor, so it is a relief to learn that although he will step down as Chief Conductor in summer 2024, after fifteen very fruitful years, Mr Karabits will maintain his association with the BSO as Conductor Laureate, Artistic Director, Voices from the East.
We also received reviews from The Times and Bachtrack: