The final event of the BBC's Alive With Music weekend at the City Halls celebrated rhythms from around the world with a musical itinerary that would have made Phileas Fogg's head spin.
With conductor Stephen Bell navigating, the BBC SSO's musical globetrotting saw them wheech from Italy to the Argentine, by way of Czechoslovakia. And all that was before a long section of American music brought the first half of the Sunday afternoon concert to a close.
This was a lively and colourful concert which showed off the energy and panache of the BBC SSO right from the first notes of the first piece – an especially rousing performance of George Gershwin's Strike Up The Band.
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Only a rather unengaging choral performance (by the National Youth Choir of Scotland's Falkirk choir) of two African songs slowed the momentum created by the orchestra on a series of dance-inspired compositions that climaxed with the thrilling Danza Final (Malambo) from Alberto Ginastera's ballet Estancia and Astor Piazzolla's sexy Libertango.
Jazz professor and pianist Richard Michael was on hand with two movements from his recently composed Piano Concerto, which proved to be great fun and provided the first opportunities for the children in the audience to participate.
The problem was that by the time Michael had begun teaching everyone how to clap a la Dave Brubeck, the concert, billed as a family affair, was entering its second hour – and there hadn't been an interval.
I can't have been the only parent regretting bringing an under-10 to a concert that turned out to be longer than an afternoon in school.
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