Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra with Christian Garrick and Friends, review: Brighton Dome, November 10

Christian Garrick and friends
Christian Garrick and friends

The first concert of the current Brighton Philharmonic season at the Dome was something of an innovation, blazing the trail for a new-look series of six concerts that combine the standard orchestral offerings with specific genre presentations.

Providing a first taste of the something new was jazz violinist Christian Garrick and Friends, along with members of the Brighton Philharmonic string section.

With a pacey programme of modern jazz pieces, including John Dankworth’s Violin Concerto (written by him for Christian and only the second public performance), an arrangement of Piazolla’s Seasons and a version of Sibelius’ Valse Triste, the eponymous showman also included a couple of his own compositions.

More familiar was the theme from Poldark by Anne Dudley, another Piazolla piece Libertango and the musical offering from the Budapest Cafe Orchestra, all played with much aplomb and great wit.

Although not called upon by the Friends, the Philharmonic string section provided a strong background to showcase the undoubted talents of the violinist.

The encore was a particularly brilliant rendering of the theme from the Russell Crowe film Master and Commander and the audience responded with enthusiasm and warmth to the foot-tapping verve and virtuosity of the whole programme.

For the next concert on Sunday, December 1, it is back to the more familiar for the Dome faithful as the whole orchestra combines for a programme of Haydn, Vaughan Williams and Mozart. Sounds like the new format will be a successful one. Visit www.brightonphil.org.uk.