There was a festive end-of-term feeling in the air at Lighthouse on Wednesday – unquestionably a special evening that provided a chance to celebrate the remarkable 2022-23 season at its final concert.
Everyone will have their own favourite or special memories of the last eight months’ music-making, but the overall impression is that normal service has been resumed after the disruptions of the Covid years. Beautiful big concerto and symphonic works have been back on the agenda, as have rarities and new compositions. BSO Resound has been a key part of the season (with friends from the North, RNS Moves), while top flight visiting conductors and soloists have charmed and astounded us, not least Artist in Residence, Felix Klieser. With the news of Kirill Karabits’ new role announced in January, connoisseurs have been savouring his performances and remembering landmarks from his highly distinguished 15 years – so far.
This evening offered a typically ingenious Kirill programme. Thoughts turned to Ukraine in two works by Glière, his well-known The Sirens and his Violin Concerto, a late work completed in one movement by Lyatoshynsky, probably having its UK premier performance. Both works received full-on, lush, romantic performances, not least the concerto which was played with utter conviction by Stefan Jackiw. This is elegantly-constructed music, full of honest feeling conveyed through luxurious orchestrations, most deftly played – and most deftly recovered from the disintegration of Mr Jackiw’s bow half way through. With great presence of mind, Amyn Merchant passed over his own bow and the music carried on, including both the fizzing cadenza and an encore of the Largo from Bach’s violin sonata in C major.
The other works brought a draught of French holiday air. Debussy’s La Mer is a great favourite (…despite being orchestrated in Eastbourne). Ravel’s La Valse evidently provides each orchestral player with a moment to enjoy, judging by the feeling of fun which radiated from the platform through the whole Concert Hall. The crazy closing whirl made a fine conclusion to the evening and the season.
So, thank you all for keeping the flame burning so brightly – ladies and gentleman of the orchestra, the administration and the Participate teams, the wonderful digital livestream crew, and not least Dougie Scarfe, Classical Music Awards Orchestra Manager of the Year. We look forward to being back at Lighthouse on 4th October for the 23/24 season opener. See all the details at bsolive.com.
Meanwhile, catch the magnificent BSO at venues all round the southwest this summer, at The Grange Festival and, of course, at the BBC Proms.
We also recieved reviews from:
Bachtrack 4* “left little doubt that Ravel was a master orchestrator and that the BSO is one of the finest orchestras in the country.”
The Telegraph 4* “once again the sheer vividness of the playing was startling”
and featured in The Times with this piece!
You can catch up on the performance until 9 June here