IN AN interview with the Echo recently, departing BSO maestro Kirill Karabits OBE said the key to everything was the relationship between conductor, musicians and audience when they come together as one.

That very special relationship has been at very heart of the astonishing decade and a half's tenure of the enigmatic Ukrainian.

And in his last concert at Lighthouse Poole in that role, closing off another remarkable season, the overwhelming power and intensity of that relationship was more obvious than ever.

Not judged only by the two standing ovations, when he walked on stage and at the end, or by his own words to the audience: “Thank you. Being with this fantastic orchestra has changed my life forever. I will never be the same again.”

Not just by the final piece of music (not on the programme) the haunting Farewell Serenade by Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, rendered even more beautiful and poignant because of the heartbreaking events in Ukraine.

Nor even by the words of chief executive Dougie Scarfe who told a packed auditorium: “My word, we have had some magic in the past fifteen years.”

All these things of course, but actually judged by the phenomenal nature of this final performance, surely one of the finest the faithful have been privileged to see.

Just when you think this world class orchestra has soared as high as it can go, it goes further.

It helped Karabits, the second longest serving of the BSO chief conductors, go out on the highest of highs on Wednesday.

It began with Bartok’s The Miraculous Mandarin Suite and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3 in the first half - soloist Alexander Gavrylyuk gave what can only be described as a spelling binding performance, man and instrument totally at one. His face and whole body seemed to be gripped by the emotion of every single note.

The audience loved him too and cheered him to the rafters.

But it was the powerful and pulsating 44 minute Symphony No.5 of Dmitri Shostakovich that captured and said everything about that relationship between Karabits, players and the people and that saw him on his way (he will return though as conductor laureate and artistic director, Voices from the East).

Conductor and musicians gave everyone a night to remember with this masterpiece of emotional depth and musical ingenuity from its dramatic opening to its triumphant finale.

If maestro and players were emotionally drained at the end, so was the audience, one member was heard to say: “I am wrung out.”

So ended another incredible chapter in the history of this iconic, world renowned, formed as Bournemouth Municipal Band in 1893.

And undoubtedly one of its greatest.

◾️The BSO also said goodbye to viola player Jacoba Gale who retired after 44 years, four months and nine days, making her the longest serving member of the orchestra in living memory.

◾️Karabits and the BSO play three concerts in the space of a few hours at the Southbank Centre on Sunday, as part of the groundbreaking Voices from the East programme, including orchestral masterpieces from Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Turkmenistan. Some tickets are still available.

See or Andy Martin