Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, Brighton Dome, Sunday, March 17, 2019.
Pianist Steven Osborne brought fresh life to Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto Number 3 as the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra season closed in style yesterday.
A controlled but passionate flood of notes cascaded around the Dome after that deceptively gentle opening evolved into quicksilver exchanges, writes Phil Dennett.
Osborne’s commitment and fierce concentration bottled its many moments of intensity.
Prompted by bassoons and clarinets he also slipped gracefully in the moments of repose in the first movement.
Osborne responded emphatically to the darker moments of the second movement while the orchestra infused a powerful sense of urgency.
Moving on seamlessly to a vivacious third movement with ripples of notes becoming whirlpools the soloist found the orchestra a willing accomplice.
The rich brass sound of Chabrier’s highly-spirited Joyeuse Marche opened the concert, while there was also plenty to admire in the delicate contribution of the woodwinds.
A sizzling closing performance of the passionate Hector Berlioz love tribute Symphonie Fantastique distilled all the soul-baring, stormy emotion of the ground-breaking score.
The orchestra, including some impressive timpani and brass and lingering clarinet, revealed the vivid colours of a complex and fascinating piece in style.
Off stage oboe and chimes added mystery and that seemed like an appropriate way to end a season that offered some engaging new experiences as well as established favourites.
Sunday’s finale was dedicated to the memory of the multi-talented Don Newbold, CBE, a long-standing supporter and generous sponsor of the orchestra who passed away last March at the age of 91 as the orchestra’s 2017-18 season was concluded.