The excellent orchestra showcased two of its finest players and I cannot recall hearing four such favourite pieces in one programme.
The playing and interpretation could hardly have been better, with Barry Wordsworth keeping a tight rein on the BPO throughout as principal oboe Alun Darbyshire and flute Christine Messiter showed their undoubted worth.
It was a baroque-fest, with the orchestra cutting their teeth of Haydn’s not often heard Symphony No 82 (The Bear) before Darbyshire took centre stage in Albinoni’s Oboe Concerto No 2.
Derbyshire and Messiter are usually shoulder to shoulder in the ordinary orchestra line-up but they were front of house for their rendering of Vivaldi’s Double Concerto for Oboe and Flute. The breath control was impressive and Wordswoth’s guiding of the orchestra sympathetic.
I was already on Cloud 9 before the programme finished with Mozart’s crowning glory Symphony No 41 (Jupiter).
Wordsworth wrote in his programme notes that this concert was in complete contrast to the remaining repertoire and despite quite a few of empty seats, I was pleased to find a kindred spirit in a brief conversation afterwards. She agreed she had never found a programme better suited to her tastes but admitted to having bought tickets for the entire season for the first time.
We will both be back at the Dome on Sunday, November 13 for something comletely different when the Brighton Festival Chorus join the orchestra and soloists in Verdi’s epic Messa di Requiem.
By Chris Francis