Eight Plus Eight

Lighthouse Poole

On my frequent visits to Imperial Vienna (not this year, alas) I usually drop in to visit Franz Schubert. And Johann Strauss, Mozart, Beethoven and Johannes Brahms.

Take the 71 tram from the city centre and in 15 minutes you reach the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) where all these great composers have their resting places in one very special area - although I think Mozart is actually somewhere else.

I was reminded of this special place of pilgrimage - and journeys not made, at least for now, by the latest of the BSO autumn season concerts, which featured Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 'Unfinished' followed by Dvorak’s Eighth, surging, exhilarating, dramatic and with the biggest of big finishes.

Schubert (who was born in Vienna and died there) left just two movements in his piece even though he lived for another six years. It remains one of music's unsolved mysteries and one of its most enigmatic pieces in itself.

Dvorak's Eighth is simply a joy with its beautiful cello and wonderful flute themes, a sweeping uplifting piece with a ten out of ten feelgood factor, perfect for our desperate times.

It was another bravura performance by the players, who received a boisterous, bravo response from the capacity300-strong socially distanced audience at Lighthouse Poole.

It seems a little invidious to pick out individuals from such a magnificent team. But take a bow principal cello, Jesper Svedberg, an absolute delight to observe and listen to, for his energy and enthusiasm.

And the magic, dancing flute of principal flute Anna Pyne also brought joy to the heart.

Meanwhile maestro Martyn Brabbins, doing a grand job deputising, is developing quite a thing with orchestra and audience.

For more about the autumn season and information on digital streaming tickets see

Andy Martin