It already feels comfortable again – Wednesday evenings with the BSO. Lighthouse presents a welcoming and comfortable face, and the ability to hear and see the music as many times as you like on line for the next month provides a very valuable resource.

Taking the helm for this concert inspired by the BSO/Chandos Records series Voices from the East the versatile and popular conductor Martyn Brabbins replaced Kirill Karabits who remains unable to travel because of quarantine regulations.

The opening music was the “Poem Nocturne” Angel by Ukrainian composer Fyodor Akimenko. This beautiful work was a revelation, given a softly dreamy performance by the orchestra with romantic strings supported by supple winds who created its impressionistic sound world with great poise.

BSO’s principal trumpet Chris Avison featured in the Arutiunian Concerto which followed. The orchestra quickly took us into a different territory, full of heroic statements and dramatic gestures. Mr Avison brilliantly projected the excitement of this work with vigour, but was also completely convincing in the singing slower sections. The rhythmical interplay with the rest of the orchestra made a strong impression as this performance reached up to its grand final peroration in the stunning cadenza.

The most substantial work of the programme was Tchaikovsky’s Little Russian Symphony (No 2). This performance was the proud justification of all the effort put in by the orchestra to bringing back full symphonic music. Under Mr Brabbins’ clear command it was great to hear each section revelling in its role in bringing this work to life. The performance made the most of the charming folk tunes which run through the symphony. The rich orchestration was a particular delight to hear from the full orchestra, and happily brought to mind other Tchaikovsky works and other Lighthouse evenings.

An enthusiastic reception was fully warranted. Bravo to all – on stage and off – for keeping this whole enterprise together.

Thank you, Tom!

Watch the concert highlights below!

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

The Guardian (8 Oct) 

“…Brabbins and the orchestra made sure they conveyed every bit of its energy and good humour.”

Bachtrack (8 Oct)

“For the second week in a row, Karabits had to forego waving his arms around in front of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, but his fingerprints were all over this fascinating programme, conducted in his stead by Martyn Brabbins.”