A real treat for Dome faithful

There was a real treat for the Dome faithful on Sunday afternoon in the penultimate concert in the 88th concert season of the outstanding Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra.

The audience were captivated by a wonderful performance of Bach’s Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins played by talented young brother and sister Samuel and Louisa-Rose Staples. The piece is almost (and forgive the pun) a staple diet for the pair, members of the famous Yehudi Menuhin School.

At just 16 and 12 respectively, it was a remarkably sensitive performance and the BPO, with guest leader Nicholas Ward, played a very full part in that thanks to the sensitive handling of music director Barry Wordsworth,

The wonderful Bach piece was the filling in a Mozart sandwich of contrasting character. The first slice was a not often heard selection from the ballet traditionally performed at the end of the master’s royal opera Idomeneo.

That should have whetted the appetite for the second half of the concert that featured Mozart’s Symphony No 40. It is widely accepted that Mozart saved his best until last, with Symphonies 39, 40 and 41 written in the space of only eight weeks. No 40 is considered the darkest at a time when he had major personal troubles but still offers plenty of gentler and sunnier aspects, and is never anything short of magnificent.

Wordsworth and the BPO did it proud and are sure to offer the same level of excellence for the final concert in the Sunday season on March 24 when cellist Gemma Rosefield returns for a programme including Saint-Saens’ Concerto for Cello, Ravel’s La Valse, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian East Festival Overture.

Chris Francis