BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA
M&G Concert at the Civic Theatre
Autumn mists outside, but warm Italian sunshine radiating from the Civic stage, packed with the versatile musicians of the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Under the baton of Jessica Cottis, they gave crisp, precise readings of some familiar scores, beginning with the lively Overture to The Italian Girl in Algiers.
Bedfellows in the reference books, and now on the concert platform, child prodigies Rossini and Rota. The latter best remembered for his Fellini film scores, but a fine academic and classical composer, represented here by his Bassoon Concerto, with John McDougall as soloist. An accessible, if episodic, work with a lyrical, melancholy inner movement before the dance Variations which form the finale. Beautifully performed here, with fine work from piano, percussion and oboe in support of the agile soloist
After Beethoven's Romance No.2, with the orchestra's leader Stephen Morris as soloist, another trip to Italy composed by another prodigy: Mendelssohn's Fourth Symphony in the “sunshine key” of A Major. Lashings of local colour, in the solemn procession, and in the fleet-footed Saltarello which brings the work to an exhilarating close.
This opening concert in the new M&G season was recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3.