Bournemouth Echo Review: BBC Proms Bournemouth Symphony, Krill Karabits, Korngold, Royal Albert Hall

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WITH chief conductor Kirill Karabits at the helm, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra wowed the audience at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday night.

The BSO celebrated the 120th anniversary of the first ever Proms concert in style and proved to be a huge highlight of the whole summer-long series.

The concert featured three works from 1945 in a carefully balanced programme.

There was real seaside flavour in the middle of London with the evocative Sea Interludes from the opera Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten.

A feeling of lush romance came through with the stunning Korngold’s Violin Concerto, played so beautifully by acclaimed soloist Nicola Benedetti.

Nicola has a special way with this piece, which she plays with real empathy for all its Hollywood glamour.

Her performance of this work with the Orchestra formed the heart of her best-selling classical album, The Silver Violin recorded with BSO/ Karabits. Conducting his fourth BBC Proms concert with the BSO, he led proceedings with his usual ease and grace.

He concluded the concert with a stunning performance of Prokofiev’s Symphony No.5. His acclaimed interpretation of this work has just been released on Onyx Classics, which has received five star reviews by critics.

The recording forms part of the BSO/ Karabits’ fascinating journey through the seven Prokofiev symphonies.

Karabits steered the Orchestra during the symphony to a dramatic picture of human spirit and how it coped with the horrors of World War II and perhaps how the composer felt about the brutality.

The enthusiastic ovation for the BSO musicians from the Proms audience underlined how the Orchestra is riding high and how well it compares with other international ensembles. It was marvellous to see this beacon of the South Coast’s cultural life appreciated on such a high-profile international stage.

Edward Blakeman, director of the BBC Proms thanked the BSO for their inspiring performance, describing them as “one of the most exciting orchestras around.”

He also commented on how the BSO has a fine track record of supporting new music and how Proms founder Sir Henry Wood had enjoyed a close relationship with the orchestra.

The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and was filmed as part of BBC Four’s Concerto series presented by Tom Service on August 13 and as part of Mark Elder’s exploration of different symphonies on August 30.

Tom Wickson