Music review: BBC SSO, City Halls, Glasgow

The Australian conductor Nicholas Carter is a reliable pair of hands. His beat is distinct, his musical intentions visibly clear. As such, these BBC SSO performances felt safe, solid and intelligent.

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

BBC SSO, City Halls, Glasgow ***

He opened with Haydn’s Symphony No42 in D, seldom played but which delights in the symphonic experimentation of its time: delicate classical proportions and sweetly shaped phrases, with the odd twist – a third movement Trio given to solo string ensemble – to distinguish Haydn from his contemporaries.

The expressive detail Carter elicited was beautifully gauged, every phrase given a meaning, whether a gentle sigh, inquisitive question or resolute answer. Delightful in so many ways, but played too safely to fully engage in the symphonic adventure, and contained within a narrow dynamic range.

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