Performer: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Dream of Gerontius
Guildford Cathedral, 15 March at 19:30
Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius, Oratorio for soloists chorus and orchestra, Op.38
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Jonathan Willcocks; Guildford Choral Society; Brussels Choral Society
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The theme to the evening’s programme at the Colston Hall was “The Power of Love”. Spread over a century, the three works programmed were all romantically driven.
Never failing to provide an interesting programme, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra performed the music of Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich under the baton of the BSO’s Conductor Laureate Andrew Litton.
Wednesday night’s Prom saw the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and their principal conductor Kirill Karabits give the fourth instalment of the season’s Tchaikovsky symphony cycle with the sunny, confident Third, in D major. As the programme noted, the D major symphony is somewhat hard to place between the folksy, popular appeal of the first two and the high psychological drama of nos. 4–6.
The scene in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin where the peasants, weary from gathering in the harvest, sing and dance for the woman who owns the estate (and, for that matter, owns them) is perhaps not the best example of gritty social realism in opera.
Good programming makes for a good concert. Chosen works must fit well together, providing enough musical contrast to keep things interesting, but they must not be so different as to jar listeners with alien soundworlds. All too often, organisers whip up concerts in which any link between pieces are entirely superficial and completely amusical.