THE BSO drew its season to a close with a stirring but contemplative performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, under chief conductor Kirill Karabits, and backed by the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus.

Celebrating 10 years in charge of the ensemble

, Karabits showed us the depth of the bond he has formed with its players with a controlled but expressive rendition of this unique, transcendental music drama.

The chorus again had been well coached under its director Gavin Carr, carefully delivering dynamic changes and enunciating well for such a large group. Special congratulations to the tenors.

The orchestra was assured as ever, keeping the volume finely balanced between soloists and chorus. The basses and trombones, both in demand in this Wagnerian love letter to God, sounded especially rich. Which bodes well, the new season will see Strauss opera return to the stage.

The soloists were among the best I have seen with the BSO. Dramatic bass James Rutherford and mezzo Alice Coote are both well established stars, and the latter delivered a moving, spine-tinglingly tender performance.

As the titular Gerontius, American tenor Paul Appleby was lyrical but punchy, his voice carving through the concert hall’s somewhat unfriendly vocal acoustic to stir the spirit.

We are lucky to have this on our doorstep, and I am pleased to see the hall is as packed out at ever, while the rest of the country has to follow on the radio.