An uplifting energy was the theme for the entire evening’s performance by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Opening with Debussy’s Rondes de Printemps, colourful layers of melody, hosted by frequent divisions of instruments across the orchestra, gave the musicians their own space to shine. It set the tone for a livewire programme and led beautifully into the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto featuring the glamorous soloist Simone Lamsma.

This Dutch violinist plays the ‘Mlynarski’ 1718 Stradivarius somewhat mysteriously loaned to her by an anonymous benefactor. Her incredible stage presence adds enormously to the performance, as it is impossible to draw the eye away. Almost attacking the instrument with tight precision, Lamsma mesmerised us with her impassioned approach to the piece, dovetailing into the orchestra effortlessly.

Fast paced with rich dynamics, the orchestra’s response to the soloist’s energy was evident and as a result, the foot slamming applause was well deserved.

The second half of the evening brought us the dreamy but powerful Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz which he composed in 1830. A full orchestra bringing plenty of percussion always visually enhances the experience and the performance didn’t disappoint. The piece was created as a result of Berlioz’s infatuation with highly acclaimed actress of the time, Harriet Smithson. The movements take us through the journey of his emotions whilst the core of the composition follows pure musical logic.

The opening of the second movement epitomised the scene of a ball or festival of its time where Berlioz meets his beloved Harriet. Romantic harp features fused with the steady waltz timing created wonderful visual images. The sharp contrast of the ensuing movements took us up and down through an emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows, a memorable moment being a four part series of Timpani chords evoking the dramatic mage of thunder which was both ‘eerie’ and moving.

Conductor Robert Trevino clearly resonates with his musicians and brings the very best out of them. Animated particularly in the final movement, it was exciting to see the orchestra responding intuitively to Trevino’s firm directions and it was no surprise to see many on their feet amongst revelry of applause at the finale. The atmosphere was electric and Trevino took time to ensure all musicians received their credit where it was due. We were all more than pleased to deliver it.