There was inevitably a touch of melancholy as the BSO season concluded at Poole Lighthouse, but what fantastic memories the last five months have provided!

The Orchestra headed off into the summer with a real flag-waving blast, timed to coincide with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The evening was led off by a huge orchestra and chorus in Sir Hubert Parry’s coronation anthem I Was Glad. The whole work was a triumphant fanfare of excitement, after which Chief Executive Dougie Scarfe spoke to thank all the BSO’s audiences and to acknowledge the outstanding 36 years’ service of retiring principal tuba and orchestra personality, Andy Cresci.

The BSO likes to avoid being completely obvious and predictable. So there followed the least well-known of Tchaikovsky’s concert overtures The Tempest Fantasy Overture. The Shakespeare link kept the English idea alive, but this was vivid picture-painting from another time and place. The love music associated with Miranda was given an especially gorgeous lustre.

After the interval, we enjoyed an extremely happy piece of programming. Many people admire the well-known suite from William Walton’s score for the 1944 film Henry V. If you watch the film, however, you will hear there is a great deal more music than appears in the suite, and this has been arranged by Christopher Palmer into A Shakespeare Scenario. To narrate the famous and uplifting speeches, Alex Hassell, an actor familiar with the part from his 5-star-reviewed performances at Stratford with the RSC, proved the perfect voice – persuasively warm and commandingly magnificent by turns.

In this work, conducting orchestra, chorus and actor called for all of Mr Karabits’ opera experience. The result brought forth a tumult of well-deserved cheering for a dazzling and totally uplifting fifty minutes of music and drama.

Yet, in part, this acclamation was for a whole season of outstanding music making. Everyone will have their own favourite moments, but how lucky we have been to see and hear the Chorus again, to experience premiere performances of works by Nurymov and Ali-Zadeh, to be swept up by electrifying concerts such as those containing Sibelius’ Second Symphony, Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto, Beethoven’s Fourth Piano concerto and Mozart’s Twenty-Second with Dame Imogen Cooper.

Among other virtuoso musicians who have visited were new friends Mark Wigglesworth and the astonishing Felix Klieser, and returning stars such as David Hill and Gergely Madaras.

Leading all, though, and battling through enormously difficult times, has been the inspirational Kirill Karabits. The loyal BSO audience has an admiration for his work here which might best be described as love.

Thank you, Tom!

We’re looking forward to seeing you all for more live symphonic music in the autumn, click here to see what we’ve got coming up…but you don’t need to wait until then, there’s lots to see over the summer too!