KING'S LYNN FESTIVAL CONCERT REVIEW: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Victor Aviat (conductor); Marcin Zdunik (cello)
Tchaikovsky: Fantasy Overture (Romeo and Juliet), Variations on Rococo Theme Op.18, Symphony No.5 in E minor Op.64
The 68th King's Lynn Festival ended in fittingly grand fashion with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO) playing three works by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
An expectant Corn Exchange audience were treated to a starter of Tchaikovsky's Fantasy Overture which none other than Classic FM described as "arguably his first true masterpiece".
What is now a piece of music most commonly associated with two long lost lovers running towards each other, in slow motion, was played with deep reverence by the 63-strong BSO whose ensemble were under the baton of Frenchman Victor Aviat.
The Variations on Rococo theme saw the introduction of Polish cellist Marcin Zdunik, the festival's artist-in-residence, who captured perfectly the sense of admiration for Mozart with which Tchaikovsky wrote the piece.
Before the interval, Zdunik surprised the audience with a bonus recital, Bach's Suite for Cello No 1, one of the most recognizable classical works ever written for strings.
The stage was then set for the grand finale, Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, scheduled as a covert nod to this summer's football World Cup in Russia and its dominance of the nation's mood.
Two things proved eye-opening from BSO's expert handling of a work that marks its 130th anniversary this year.
One was its resemblance to music composed by Bernard Herrmann, the man responsible for the score to some of Alfred Hitchcock's most famous movies, including Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho and The Birds.
The second fact to emerge was that the symphony's second movement formed the basis for the theme tune to Australian comedian Paul Hogan's TV comedy show.
Brass, strings, woodwind and timpani drum all harmonised for what was an outstanding night of classical music.
Review by Winston Brown