PROM 16: BOURNEMOUTH SO / ALSOP ; Classical ++ Royal Albert Hall LONDON
Seckerson, Edward, The Independent (London, England)
It was only a matter of time before Samuel Barber's achingly romantic Violin Concerto became a core repertoire piece - but I've a feeling that the associations with his ubiquitous Adagio for Strings will have accounted for the near-capacity audience at this Barber/ Copland Prom from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under their dynamic and gifted conductor Marin Alsop.
The Barber is not just a tale of two fabulous tunes. No; the intimacy and originality of the scoring is entirely unexpected, with the very first page suggesting that we might accidentally have opened the door on some private soiree. Incongruous piano arpeggios underpin the soloist's opening statement in such a way as to promise but not quite deliver chamber music.
That's the way the young Canadian violinist James Ehnes played it - sweetly and discreetly. He is nothing if not a tasteful player. But, though restraint and discretion have their place in this piece, you still need those ardent descents to the G-string to smoulder a bit. There isn't much heat in Ehnes' playing, and you do feel a certain distance from the music.
Aaron Copland's Third Symphony is the public face of the birth of a nation. …