IT was a night of contrasts.

Under the direction of chief conductor Kirill Karabits, the BSO’s second concert of the season at the Lighthouse opened with the gentle, though elegant and expressive, Serenade No.10 (Gran Partita) by Mozart.

The piece was seemingly in part chosen as a swan song for departing head clarinettist Kevin Banks, a BSO veteran of some 30 years, and certainly was an opportunity to show off his prodigious skill. The orchestra has long shined in its woodwind and the performances yesterday were no exception, with a special shout out to the bassoon.

But with its subtle intricacies, restrained dance rhythms and muted but resonant deployment of horns the serenade proved a fine prelude to the fireworks of the second half.

Beethoven’s Symphony No.7 was driven at pace by Karabits, it’s playful first movement the most strikingly rendered on the night with its exuberant rhythms. The ensemble perfectly married that runaway train sense of a group of musicians thoroughly enjoying themselves with the necessary precision.

The horns were rather inconsistent during the finale - a shame given their importance to the overall texture of the piece, but the ferocious energy in the strings, particularly the cellos, kept the blood pumping right up until the conclusion of the glorious coda.