REVIEW: Broader horizons with Brighton Phliharmonic

CREDIT renowned conductor Barry Wordsworth for trying to broaden the horizons of many of the Brighton Philharmonic regulars at the Dome even if it does come at a price in terms of a few empty seats.

Sunday, March 6, was one such occasion when while Brahms’ Academic Overture and Mahler’s Symphony No 4 would have enjoyed wider appeal, Bartok’s concerto for Violin No 2 would hardly have universally hit the right chord.

I’m afraid I must number myself among those finding it a painful 36 minutes and clearly there were plenty of a similar mind in proximity of where I was sitting.

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But that should take nothing away from the performance of young British violinist Matthew Trusler, or indeed Wordsworth himself as he expertly guided the BPO through a far from easy work.

One can fully understand why musicians like to stretch themselves but while professionalism is to be admired in its own right, that does not always make for good entertainment.

Undoubtedly the highlight for me was the last 10 minutes of a lengthy concert when soprano Elizabeth Atherton joined the orchestra for the final movement of Mahler’s No 4, entitled Sehr behaglich (easefully).

Heaven’s Life was beautifully and effortlessly rendered by the singer and brought an occasionally discordant afternoon to a peaceful and serene conclusion.

The final concert of the BPO’s 86th season features Beethoven (Overture Cariolan), Dohnanyi (Koncertstucke in D) and Brahms (Symphony No 2) and takes place on Sunday March 27.