Plymouth Symphony Orchestra’s spring concert was an ambitious choice which certainly succeeded in putting every section of the orchestra through their paces.
Opening with a robust performance of Verdi’s Nabucco Overture, the brass made an especially telling contribution to the success of the piece, even if the bass drum did seem a tad over-enthusiastic at times.
Peter Fisher proved a most assured soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, taking the technical challenges in his stride.
While the performance overall didn’t quite send shivers down the spine, the highly-sympathetic support from the orchestra ensured that the audience found much to enjoy.
Mussorgsky’s Night on the Bare Mountain picked up the excitement once more, with a well-disciplined reading which finely captured the witches’ revelry until the evil spirits dispersed with the onset of dawn.
The orchestra pulled out all the stops for a first-rate performance of fellow-member Paul Foster’s evocative Nocturne.
Sumptuously lavish in its orchestration, and highly-accessible to the ear, this constantly-changing musical tapestry undoubtedly proved one of the evening’s real highlights.
Khachaturian’s Second Suite from Spartacus provided the ideal finale, with its exotic colourings and vibrant rhythms, which conductor Anne Kimber again so skilfully fashioned from her players, led by Paul Mathews.
PHILIP R BUTTALL