THERE is something especially dramatic and spellbinding about music composed on space and ‘other worldly’ themes.

Even more so when it is performed under the stars.

And so it very much proved on Friday at Galactic Classics, the first night of the BSO 2019 Proms in the Park.

From the opening, momentous Also Sprach Zarathustra (Sunrise) by Richard Strauss through Stars Wars, Interstellar and ET to the Planets by Gustav Holst, this was an evening to lift the spirits and the eyes towards skies at the end of a perfect Summer day.

When Holst completed his masterpiece in 1917 he was so pleased with it he cycled from Sussex to Bournemouth to show the most important conductor of the day, Sir Dan Godfrey, the founder of the BSO (rumour has it Holst was at first mistaken for the delivery boy.) Another very good reason then for the familiar seven movement work to be the centrepiece of the night, itself a tribute to and celebration of the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing.

The music was accompanied either side of the stage by beautiful big screen images of the planets supplied by NASA.

With one half of the programme as film scores and the other the Planets, it was instructive to see how much modern day legends like John Williams have borrowed from Holst for their blockbuster scores.

Under the baton of the relentlessly dynamic Marta Gardolinska who brings a sporting like dimension to the podium, the BSO was at its best spellbinding best too, in the fourth year since the Proms in Meyrick Park returned.

It was a decision that continues to delight thousands and always provides one of the great occasions of the year.

The grand fireworks finale was set to the Star Trek Nemesis theme.

The ‘out of this world class’ BSO continues to boldly go...