Ravel's Piano Concerto For The Left Hand is a great piece for young musicians.
The CBSO Youth Orchestra skilfully negotiating its mischievous changes of tempo and instrumentation in a performance fizzing with energy and style.
Subtlety and responsiveness was evident in these players from the off. Andrew Litton conjured a mysterious opening and transformed it into a terrifying full crescendo with the faintest of efforts. The soloist, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, was superb, his left hand drawing rich colours and bright articulation from the piano’s full range.
After the interval, Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 demonstrated a wealth of instrumental talent. First trumpet Paul Bosworth deserves special praise, proving an assured presence throughout the taxing opening movement.
Reaching far into the front desks, Litton drew every ounce of drama from his musicians. But he could have exercised more control in the second movement where the strings became lost beneath a blanket of confident brass.
What a shame this was, when a fine Adagietto showed how much they could achieve. Led with exceptional maturity by Diego Vassallo, these exposed lines were tackled with fantastic ensemble and clarity. A joyous finale concluded an evening of which these musicians should be very proud.