GREATEST Hits! Well, there’s no denying the popularity and fame of the works in this exceptionally tuneful programme.

Featuring a rising star in the Grieg Piano Concerto, Alexander Romanovsky’s striking performance carried an authoritative stamp of eminence. Naturally placed to the front the piano benefited from the new acoustic screen, the cadenza flooding the theatre with dramatic gestures. Romanovsky’s beauty of mood in the Adagio revealed a fine sensitivity and as the finale’s punchy rhythms built towards a grand conclusion his virtuosity was always alive to the melodic pulse.

Bizet’s opera Carmen was early on described as an entertainment “to which not all men would take his daughters”! Moral attitudes changed after his death and the wonderful tunes he wrote are a joy. Rui Pinheiro’s direction brought a tremendous sense of fun to the eight excerpts that included many superb solos.

A precis from M.C. Petroc Trelawny set the scene for Tchaikovsky’s brilliant Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture. Pinheiro drew proper poignancy for this sad tale. The hostility was palpable with stabbing chords suggestive of some very unpleasant exchanges in this excellent performance.

The other ’hit’ was also right on target. Pinheiro and the BSO made their mark just as precisely as Rossini’s William Tell ‘apple piercing’ Overture.