Brussels Philharmonic, Usher Hall, Review

Rating (out of 5)

In earlier days the Brussels Philharmonic, founded in 1935, was known as the BRT Philharmonic Orchestra and then as the Flemish Radio Orchestra. It is based in Brussels and is an established body in the country's Flemish Community. Geneva-born Michel Tabachnik has been its Music Director and Chief Conductor since 2008. When he retires next year the post is to be taken by Stéphane Denève - known to us in Edinburgh from his Royal Scottish National Orchestra days.

Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) was a Russian scientist whose hobby was music. He never quite managed to finish the opera Prince Igor he started to compose in 1869. Fortunately for us his Polovtsian Dances were composed and performed in his lifetime. It's powerful Russian music giving full vent to the big drums, and perhaps surprisingly, to a tambourine which we heard not just jiggled but firmly tapped too. A favourite work of mine if only for I played it (on the viola) many years ago in my school orchestra.

Miloš Karadaglić is a classical guitarist born in Montenegro. Now aged 30 he is an international star of the highest order in the guitar world and has recently been named by CBC Music "impossibly suave"- their best dressed classical musician of 2014. He played the solo part of Joaquín Rodrigo's Concerto de Aranjuez, one of the best known contemporary compositions. And, of course, the audience loved it.

After the interval Miloš Karadaglić was on stage on his own and before telling us what he was about to play shared with us his view of the day's weather in Edinburgh but went on to show his admiration for the Usher Hall as a performance venue. He played his solo set of three works all by Manuel De Falla.

The Brussels Orchestra showed its full strength as it built up speed and power with Camille Saint-Saëns' much loved Organ Symphony where the two pianists on the one piano and the Usher Hall organ played by Oliver Condy were kept firmly in place - just as the composer intended. But a mighty composition well mastered by conductor, Michel Tabachnik.

Concert: Sunday 30th November 2014 at 3 pm