30 September 2020

Well congratulations to everyone at the BSO and Lighthouse, Poole, for getting the orchestral show back on the road. Goodness, how we have missed the inspiration of live music during the last seven months!

Rarely can Lighthouse have seemed so welcoming. The sense of returning to an old and cherished friend was palpable. And there was the orchestra itself, something of a vision, socially-distanced on the expanded platform. Of course things were not quite the same as normal, but frankly everything seemed perfectly safe and thoroughly well organised.

Respect, too, to David Hill who conducted the evening. Poor Kirill Karabits was stuck in quarantine at the opera house in Zurich, so Mr Hill brought his warmth and experience to an absorbing programme.

The Orchestra on the expanded stage

As the German-Russian pianist Igor Levit commented recently, “Every single year, as you know, is a Beethoven year”. Fitting then, to hear Beethoven’s masterpiece of masterpieces, the Seventh Symphony. This was not just a fanfare for the composer and for the brilliance of the BSO, but also a celebration of the live music we now appreciate more than ever — having lived so long without it.

Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question worked excellently as a moment to ponder everything that has happened to us this year, and Britten’s arrangement of What the Wild Flowers Tell Me from Mahler’s monumental Third Symphony was all that could survive of that huge work that might have opened the 20-21 concert series. A single jewel from a mighty crown.

The evening had started with Luther/Bach/Karabits’ Ein Feste Burg ist under Gott. What strength and reassurance there was in that lovely hymn. Actual singing is not possible yet, but surely in our minds we heard these words:

A mighty fortress is our God,
a trusty shield and weapon:
He helps us from the mortal need
that now on us has fallen.

Whether tuned in from home or lucky enough to be actually present in the hall, we all say: Thank you. Thank you!

We were also pleased to receive these reviews from the National Press: 

The Times (1 Oct)
“Just days ahead of Liverpool, Bournemouth has become the first British orchestra to launch an autumn season of live music-making”

“….a joyous statement from a band that sounded thrilled to be back in business”

Bachtrack (30 Sep)
“…the orchestra delicate and poised in its playfulness and occasional moments of rapture, with muted brass alongside characterful woodwinds a sheer delight.”

Watch the concert highlights below!

For all details of the new season and to book click here

For the new season press release click here