REVIEW: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra bring King’s Lynn Festival to a close

Victor Aviat, who conducted the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Picture: Harald Hoffman

Victor Aviat, who conducted the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Picture: Harald Hoffman - Credit: Archant

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra brought the 2018 King's Lynn Festival to a dramatic close.

Conductor Victor Aviat had a very different style of operating which was highly animated. Unfortunately the orchestra did not respond likewise and their body language was more like a routine day at the office. Perhaps it was just concentration that made it appear that they were disinterested, I'll give them the benefit of doubt, however the sound produced was more positive and obviously well-rehearsed.

Although I expected a more engaging rendition of the Romeo and Juliet Overture, the playing of this well-known piece was professional if slightly understated. However everything came to life with the Variations on a Rococo Theme, principally due to the boundless energy and talent of the cello soloist, Marcin Zdunik. Being a less well-known composition perhaps created an added interest, especially in the virtuosic solo passages which gave an impression of ad lib yet fitted neatly into the sentiment of the work. It is noted that some of the composition is not original to Tchaikovsky, but is accepted as being relevant, relative to the overall theme. The complexity of the piece may be a challenge to most players but Zdunik had no difficulty in displaying his mastery of technique, tone and feeling for the music.

As a bonus Zdunik played an unaccompanied piece from the Bach repertoire as an encore. This was greatly appreciated by the audience and also drew the attention of the orchestral players.

Symphony No. 5 in E minor was the final piece for the evening, and for the Festival. It is another of the well-known works of Tchaikovsky with its lugubrious beginning, then livening up into the recognisable tune that we might feel like singing along to. This felt as if the orchestra were enjoying playing even if their faces were very serious, and was much more like the standard that we expect from a first class orchestra. Having said all that, it was a delightful end to a fantastic Festival, which will be remembered for its many highlights.

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Sheila Johnson

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