Before the concert, the Orchestra’s CEO, Dougie Scarfe, spoke about the invasion of Ukraine and read a heart-rending message from Chief Conductor, Kirill Karabits appealing for peace and for “help to stop this unjust war”. BSO supporters and audience members send love and support to Mr Karabits, his family, and all the Ukrainian people.
There are many ways in which Schubert’s Ninth Symphony is “great”. Its scale and drama both earn the name. Its range of unforgettable melodies and its pure emotion pitch it firmly into that category.
Witnessing it live on Wednesday evening at Poole Lighthouse with the BSO conducted by its Principal Guest Conductor, Mark Wigglesworth, emphasised its grandeur. The playing of the sumptuous orchestrations by this inspiring orchestra, led unerringly by Mr Wigglesworth, contributed to a wonderful evening. The first half of the concert was no less impressive. Dame Imogen Cooper brought a touching sensitivity to Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 22. There was grace and grandeur in the opening movement and a sense of fun in the final rondo. The theme and variations in the central Andante, though, expressed a melancholy which was truly moving and memorable. It was very special to hear one of the greatest Mozart pianists of our age.
Proceedings were opened with Sunshine, by Jonathan Dove. The clever intertwining of dancing and singing themes made a perfect curtain-raiser for what was to follow.
The BSO’s Spring season, whether enjoyed online or attended in person, has brought a galaxy of big stars, emerging talent and impressively varied music to our region. It has also been exciting to hear of the orchestra returning to locations all over the South and West. The seven remaining concert weeks are full of musical delights to charm the ear and stimulate the mind.