Conductor's touch of music magic; REVIEW.
British Classics CBSO SYMPHONY HALL IN-demand conductor John Wilson helped attract a large audience to the Symphony Hall for the latest concert by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
And his guest artist, leading clarinetist Michael Collins, made an instant impact with his playing of Gerald Finzi's Concerto in C Minor, superbly supported by the orchestra's string section.
Collins' 25-minute performance was an absolute delight, setting the scene for some memorable music to follow.
The second half of the concert saw the musicians in great form, particularly with Eric Coates' London Calling, Haydn Wood's London Cameos Suite and Jumping Bean by Robert Farnon.
Before leading the orchestra in Lionel Monckton's The Arcadians Overture, Wilson amused the audience with an anecdote from his early days as a musician. His first link with the Arcadians came in Gateshead during the 1980s when he was playing the triangle, with his mother in the audience. She left at the interval and told him later "I wish you wouldn't make me sit through these things".
She would have happily stayed to the end of this concert.
VERDICT: PAUL MARSTON