Listening to the CBSO Youth Orchestra makes one marvel at how much has been achieved in less than a decade; indeed one wonders how a hundred 14-21s manage to sound so consistently professional.
Excellent coaching is obviously crucial, but so is personal ability, which these youngsters have in spades.
On Sunday they achieved something that not even (if memory serves) the adult CBSO has done, by giving a performance of Tchaikovsky’s complete Nutcrackerballet. And what a performance it was!
Under the empowering baton of the former Bolshoi Theatre music director Alexander Vedernikov, whose conducting from memory enabled total communication and generous cue giving, the playing was amazingly mature in its discipline and sustained concentration.
True, the Overture threw the strings in at the deep end, but there were so many compensations elsewhere – the Waltz of the Flowers glowingly rich, the succession of well-known dances in Act 2 quite brilliantly executed – and golden moments for principals in every section to shine, which they did gloriously.
In addition to the unfamiliar ‘linking’ bits was the short choral section at the end of Act 1, charmingly sung by the CBSO Children’s Chorus, who sat without a fidget until their moment came – a remarkable feat in itself.