SOMETIMES it’s good to go into a concert without too much or indeed any prior knowledge of the music. It adds to the anticipation and the experience.

At the risk of appearing ignorant, I was not familiar with Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements and had not heard anything at all by Szymanowski ahead of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra ‘Electrifying Rhythms.’

Stravinsky’s masterpiece is imbued with the times in which it was composed. Torment and turbulence, agitation, rapid events despair and hope.

The Russian wrote it between and 1942-45 and dedicated it to the New York Philharmonic Society. It even features the ingenious suggestion of ‘goose-stepping’ and speaks of the abject failure of the Nazi war machine.

My failure to read the programme properly in advance led to a surprise of sheer delight as the wonderful soloist Simone Lamsma took the stage for Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No.1.

She played as if her life depended on it and her performance on its own was truly electrifying, with the 1718 Mlynarski Stradivarius, loaned by an anonymous benefactor.

The second half was devoted to Rachmaninov’s emotionally-charged, beautiful, energetic, exuberant and colourful Symphony No.3, written in 1936.

The whole evening was masterfully pulled together by the imposing guest conductor Robert Trevino, chief conductor the Malmo Symphony Orchestra. A huge presence on the podium.

By sheer chance I have had a few conversations in recent weeks about the universal power of music and its ability to take hold of every emotion and be a force for good on so many levels.

Electrifying Rhythms was an absolutely classic, high voltage, case in point.