Preview: BSO’s ‘Unmistakable Voices’

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra reignites its new year of performances at Exeter Great Hall on Friday, in an evening that should lay the foundations for the work to come. ‘Unmistakeable Voices’ brings to the university works by two of the greatest Romantic composers: Beethoven and Shostakovich. With Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits at the helm, it promises to be another successful night for the BSO, and certainly one to deeply affect its audience.

Beethoven’s Violin Concerto will feature soloist Augustin Hadelich, whose career has seen him perform all over the world; in 2016 he won his first Grammy for ‘Best Classical Instrumental Solo’. He also has an Honorary Doctorate in music from Exeter University, and so his performance is to be all the more anticipated. The piece by Beethoven remained largely unknown during the composer’s lifetime, but since its revival in the mid-19th century it has seen wide acclaim as one of the most beautiful violin concertos ever written.

Shostakovich’s Symphony No.1 was written by the composer as his graduation piece for the Petrograd Conservatory where he studied, and he completed it at the age of 19. While this feat seems incredible alone, the fact that it demonstrates entirely the ‘Unmistakeable Voice’ of the composer, which is perhaps the greatest of the 20th century, shows the genius of Shostakovich at even that young age. The piece launched his chequered musical career, in which his later successes brought him under the scrutiny of the Stalinist regime, which overshadowed much of his life.

The evening of the 18th promises a fantastic start to a new term of music, as the world-class orchestra continues its 2018/19 season, bringing the highest quality of classical music to Exeter and the South West.

Ben Britton 

Photo Credits: Eric Richmond

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