|Conductor Tom Seligman|
The Hebrides, Op. 26 ('Fingal's Cave') is a restless showcase for the orchestra and showed well-blended strings throughout and reedy bite in the bassoons. The acoustic of the church favours the bottom end of the range; when it came to the concerto, soloist Lukas Medlam had a small balancing battle at first, but by the second movement he'd found the contralto swell in his instrument and the long melodic lines sung nicely. The lower strings had also found their groove by this stage, producing notably silky, homogenised tone. I was hugely impressed by the final movement, not only as it requires fine technique - Medlam was totally secure - but also as the conductor, Tom Seligman set off at just the right tempo to manage both the fizz and the folk-dance.
Danyal Dhondy's In Other Words (Rhapsodically - Largo - Con Fuoco) builds swells of colour and density in nicely organised structures. Reaching out with tentative woodwind ahead of broader sweeps across the orchestra, the music is composed very competently, seamless and satisfactory, evoking the internal rhythmic patterns of John Adams next to neoclassical woodwind asides. Finally, the Haydn symphony had the orchestra well warmed up and responding well to Seligman's gesture. The second Adagio movement of variations is a fine piece but the audience's favourite was the tipsy swagger of the Trio.