Love is in the air

Love was in the air at the Dome on Sunday as the Brighton Philharmonic duly celebrated the start of Valentine’s week.

Music director Barry Wordsworth and general manager Judith Clark came up with a wonderful programme for the orchestra’s 88th season and the latest offering (there are just two more to come) was a real treat, much enjoyed by the Dome faithful.

Wagner’s landmark opera Tristan and Isolde opened the concert, with the Prelude and Liebestod. A humming from the sound system caused a short delay but with what is such a quiet piece in places, Wordsworth was quite right to wait for the problems to be solved.

The audience was duly rewarded with a sensitive interpetation of music written to symbolise some pretty powerful philosophical tenets.

Next up in the first half was a superb double helping of Max Bruch, who was rooted firmly in the Romantic era despite his life spanning the 19th century and the first 20 years of the 20th.

Talented Russian viola player and composer Konstantin Boyarsky figured in both, the lone soloist for the the beautiful Romance for Viola and Orchestra, and then joining the BPO’s own John Payne for the Concerto for Clarinet and Viola.

It was a delightful first half and the second half did not disappoint as Wordsworth indulged his Royal Ballet connections with a 45-minute selection from Prokofiev’s magnificent Romeo and Juliet. Judging by the response of the audience, it was an indulgence they were delighted to run with.

The penultimate concert in the season takes place on Sunday March 3 and will feature pupils of the Yehudi Menuhin School. The programme comprises offerings from two of the true greats, with Mozart’s Ballet from Idomeneo and epic Symphony No 40 coming either side of Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor. It promises to be another stunning Sunday at the Dome.

Chris Francis