A rich and romantic programme of music by Respighi, Glazunov and Elgar provided sumptuous fare on Wednesday at Lighthouse, Poole, in the latest concert in the BSO’s 22/23 season, conducted by Robert Trevino.
Respighi’s music is famed for its colourful depiction of land- and city-scapes. The Fountains of Rome is a prime example, presenting glowing images of four fountains in the Eternal City at different times of day. The orchestrations are magical and gave the BSO players ample opportunity to strut their stuff.
Czech soloist Pavel Šporcl, with his trademark blue violin, then appeared to play Glazunov’s Violin Concerto – twenty minutes of beautiful melody and fizzing musicianship. Soloist, conductor and orchestra combined to give a compelling account of the concerto. It is not at all clear why this is less well known than other romantic concertos. Mr Šporcl spoke warmly after this performance to introduce his latest recording and then his encore, the Gavotte from Bach’s Partita No 3.
After the interval the single work was Elgar’s great First Symphony. Despite the image that some critics used to project of Elgar as a stolid Edwardian figure, this work is shot through with angst, tension and doubt. How apt for our experience of life today, over a hundred years after it was written. The noble motto theme at the start of the symphony set us out on a journey that duly arrived at its triumphant destination, filling us with much needed ‘massive hope in the future’. But this was only achieved after the troubled first movement and the nervous second, where the crisp articulation of the BSO really made the audience sit up and listen. The melancholy Adagio – music of haunting beauty – offered deep consolation and luscious string playing which led to the final victory.
Mr Trevino and the orchestra revelled in all these deeply human emotions to give us a dose of pure optimism to conclude a satisfyingly rich evening of musical pleasures.