Semyon Bychkov and the National Youth Orchestra kicked start their BBC Proms concert with Dukas The Sorcerer's Apprentice. It was well put together. A good pace. There was a lot of contrast. And clearly the whole orchestra enjoyed this colourful piece.
This was followed by Julian Anderson's Fantasias (its London premiere). The first movement gave a bold and staunch start of the work - being scored for just brass instruments. The subsequent movements took the listeners to different naturalistic soundscapes. The most intriguing part was the tapping of the mouth pieces and col legno which created a "tropical rain fall" inside the Royal Albert Hall. All in all it was a delightful experience (and the audience seemed to like it too).
Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique argually was the weakest piece. Whilst the players were full of enthusiasm, the first movement took a long time to settle - passion was lacking. The subsequent movements got better. The dance and the march were tightly played. Though one could not help but feel the playing wasn't mailable enough to accommodate the sensuous score.