I went to the concert a little early so as to listen to the 30 minute talk on the pieces and composers in the concert. There was a lot of good information and some humour. The person taking the talk was one of the viola players. He would explain something about the music or a composer’s style and then back it up with evidence from a CD which had recordings of the music. He would point out what he had being saying in the music. He also used quotes from the composers he was talking about. The viola player used some technical language but not much, so it was easy to understand. There was a book he referred to which had paintings illustrating the music. The talk taught me similarities between the symphonies of the composers and explained the style and character of the composers.

After the talk I went outside the concert hall to have a drink. While I waited for the concert to start I listened to a string quartet made up of 4 members of the BSO.

The atmosphere of the concert as everyone was coming in and waiting for the concert to start was sad and mournful as everyone had found out the sad news of the death of the former conductor who died at the age of 51 because of illness the night before. When the first piece got going the mood cheered up a bit as the piece was very lively. It kept changing from a gentle and soft mood up to a vicious and stately mood before dying away again. There was a sense the piece was never going to end as there were so many dramatic climaxes which would normally lead up to an ending but it never finished. When the piece finally finished I felt sad that it had to end because I had enjoyed it. The sound was pure, soft and quiet at times but loud, lively and angry at others which made a sense of tension. The piece kept making you feel happy then angry then happy again. One important thing I noticed was that the conductor was jumping around with large gestures when it was loud but hardly moving when it was quiet. This was because he was really in with the music.

The second piece had to be the best as it was gentle, loving and moving. This was because of the amazing violinist who did the solo. She was only 23 and was amazing. It was really astonishing that such a young person could be that great. At the beginning of the piece the soloist played with little to no backing from the orchestra and played very high notes. There were some small gaps where nothing was being played. This created tension and atmosphere. In the middle when the soloist played there was always lots of backing but the soloist was always heard. The soloist would never stand still, it was great to watch. Even when she wasn’t playing she couldn’t stand still. At the beginning of the piece the conductor checked the tempo with the soloist before starting. There was a giant climax just before the finish but it ended quietly; this was surprising as the whole piece had been leading up to a big ending. My father and I were in awe watching the soloist and it took us a couple of seconds to realise the piece had ended. The audience were amazed at what that talented young woman could do and the applause lasted for more than 2 minutes. The soloist had to come out four times before the applause ended.

Nicola Benedetti played the same violin concerto she had played when she won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award. After an interval and a long wait for a glorious chocolate ice-cream it was time for the second half which consisted of one symphony with 3 movements. I liked it at first but it was too long at 39 minutes. The piece’s mood didn’t change much making the piece quite dull to someone whose taste in music lies in R&B and Hip-Hop. The piece seemed to go on forever like you were lost in a forest as the same things kept being played over and over. After 20 minutes I got bored and found it hard to sit still for the rest of the piece so I looked at the program and tried to find the ratio of Men to Women in the BSO (which is 40:27). Overall I enjoyed the concert and recommend you go and listen to the BSO as they are amazing. Nicola Benedetti, the soloist, she was flabbergasting; no wonder she won the BBC Young Musician of the year in 2004.

Alexandra Day, aged 13

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Litton conducting with Nicola Benedetti, violin Liszt, Les Préludes, symphonic poem no. 3, S 97 Szymanowski, Violin Concerto no. 1, Op.35 Rachmaninov, Symphony no. 3 in A minor, Op.44 Brighton Dome Thursday 16th March 2011

©Colin Bell/Universal.