MOST conductors probably talk about the special relationship and understanding they have with their orchestra.

But sometimes you don't need words.

You can see it, feel and hear it in the concert.

The return to the podium of chief conductor Kirill Karabits at the Lighthouse was a very personal one. And clearly very special.

The normally rather publicly reserved Karabits took to the microphone to talk to the audience before the UK premiere of Chary Nurymov's Symphony No2.

He is the latest composer to feature in the conductor's ongoing Voices from the East project - something very close to the Ukrainian's heart.

Nurymov was from Turkmenistan and a close contemporary of Karabit's father, Ivan, in a network of composers in the Soviet Union. Karabits said he remembered Nurymov as a child.

Turkmenistan is, he explained, politically and culturally isolated and as far east as you can go and still find a classical symphonic tradition.

The 18-minute piece on peace and violence, composed in 1984 in memory of Indira Gandhi following her assassination is compelling, dramatic, powerful and emotional and Karabits was visibly touched by the reaction it received from the audience and understandably so.

The evening was entitled Glorious Rachmaninov and the second half was devoted to his Symphony No2, the third movement of which is surely one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. The wow finale was wildly appreciated and again the conductor, at his brilliant best, seemed moved.

The concert (which opened with the joyous and familiar Grande Valse Brillante, written by Chopin and orchestrated by Stravinsky) also saw the return of a full 80-piece orchestra for the first in a long while because of the pandemic.

Karabits said the orchestra was enjoying that sound and hoped the audience would too.

No doubt about that. Glorious indeed.