BBC Symphony/Yan Pascal Tortelier

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Barbican

It's good to see such enterprising programming as we are currently enjoying in the London concert season at the Barbican on November 5 by the BBC Symphony (enjoying something of a golden period) under Yan Pascal Tortelier. They began with Hindemith's great Concert Music for Strings and Brass, his Opus 50, written for the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1930. This is one of Hindemith's very finest orchestral works, a serious composition of immense inner strength and power, and it received a performance such as I am sure would have thrilled the composer, quite superbly interpreted by Tortelier, and outstandingly well played.

Another concert rarity - Debussy's Fantasie for piano and orchestra - followed. The soloist was the admirable JeanEfflam Bavouzet, and if in the final analysis the work shows the composer on the edge of greatness, rather than having achieved it, the piece does not deserve neglect. Bavouzet has recently recorded the Fantasie for Chandos, on an outstanding disc which also includes the two Ravel Concertos, so let's hope his advocacy will do much to restore this appealing score to the repertoire. …