Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits was warmly welcomed back to Poole on Wednesday evening for a pulsating programme of music, including a UK premiere of the Second Symphony by the late twentieth century composer from Turkmenistan, Chary Nurymov.

Always ready to be introduced to new composers and new works, the BSO audience responded warmly to this compact, twenty-minute single-movement work. Composed for a large symphony orchestra, the music inhabits a broadly traditional sound world, but is marked with some glaring dissonances reminiscent of Mahler or perhaps Shostakovich.

Inspired by the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984, sections of the symphony were strongly dramatic and driven by urgent rhythms. Contrasting moments poured out feelings of tragedy and lament before an ending which hinted at a mood of gentle optimism. Mr Karabits drew out a starkly powerful reading from the orchestra, marked by the confidence and trust shared by conductor, players and audience together. It is to be hoped that other conductors might hear and pick up this impressive music.

The concert had opened with a jolly presentation of the Grande Valse Brilliante, orchestrated from Chopin’s piano score by Stravinsky.

The sole work in the second half was Rachmaninov’s magnificent Second Symphony – one of the absolute masterpieces of the romantic repertoire. The BSO played this as to the manner born. Each section sounded impassioned and inspired as the beautiful themes rolled one after the other. To create a truly engaging performance such as this, each instrumentalist needs to approach the work with total sincerity, and the conductor must keep a firm grasp on the overall shape of the piece. Raw grit and energy were matched with honesty and with intense emotion to create a truly memorable – if totally draining – experience.

The BSO has been described as a ‘cultural miracle’. This concert underlined the simple truth and accuracy of the description!


We also received reviews from: 
The Times **** “…music lovers in Dorset may now be the most knowledgeable in the western world about the symphonic pieces of eastern Europe and central Asia.”

ArtsDesk **** “Cracking chemistry between fine players and their chief conductor”
Bournemouth Echo “The return to the podium of chief conductor Kirill Karabits at the Lighthouse was a very personal one. And clearly very special.” 

To watch the concert in full click here (available until 18 Feb)