Verdict: Four Stars

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

City Halls, Glasgow

Not a voice presented at all frequently in our concert halls until the centenary of his birth last year, Polish composer Andrzej Panufnik has been, as the BBC SSO proved beyond measure on Saturday, unfairly neglected.

There is much to be heard from this major composer of the 20th century, who made England his home in the 1950s until his death in 1991.

Opening their weekend celebrating Panufnik and his music, the BBC SSO turned to his first surviving symphony (much of his earlier work was destroyed), the Violin Concerto, Lullaby and Divertimento for Strings, so a diverse selection of music from different times of his career.

With Polish conductor Å?ukasz Borowicz making his debut appearance with the orchestra, the strings were appropriately full-bodied and polished in tone for the briskly taken folksy tunes of the Divertimento, an adaptation of 18th century string trios by Felix Janiewicz which Panufnik made in1947.

Jumping almost 25 years on, the Violin Concerto, composed at the request of the legendary Yehudi Menuhin, is pure Panufnik.

The declamatory, solo opening for the violinist turns into an elongated melody, high above pizzicato accompaniment from strings below.

If written with Menuhin and his unique abilities in mind, the concerto lives on in the same spirit in the hands of Alexander Sitkovetsky.

His exquisitely beautiful, resolute yet lyrical sound was perfectly complemented by the SSO strings. The gorgeous opening up at the end of the adagio, like the sun rising on the world, led straight into a sparsely rhythmical third movement vivace.

Lullaby for 29 solo strings and harp was strangely soothing in its gentleness and conducted by Borowicz, as was all, with deep affinity for Panufnik's music.