ON Saturday night, internationally-renowned trombonist Ian Bousfield returned to his home city to perform an exciting programme with the esteemed York Guildhall Orchestra.

The orchestra hit the ground running with an engaging rendition of Berlioz’s Overture to Les Francs-Juges. The delicate motifs of the strings and winds were perfectly balanced by the persistent brass interruptions, eventually joining forces for a rousing finale.

Ferdinand David’s Concertino for Trombone and Orchestra is a seminal work in the trombone repertoire, and Bousfield soared over the lush romantic lines with thoughtful and sensitive accompaniment from the orchestra.

Bousfield gave a masterful performance of Pryor’s Variations on Blue Bells Of Scotland that was full of warmth and wit. Usually accompanied by piano, this time the piece was arranged for orchestra by musical director and conductor Simon Wright, who played expertly to the strengths of the ensemble.

The expressive melodies of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma lend themselves generously to the trombone and Bousfield played with nuance and subtlety to craft a performance that was as moving as any sung version. The ensemble made full use of Puccini’s orchestral writing, creating a rich sound, and it was clear from the rapturous applause that the performance delighted both players and audience.

The second half saw the orchestra give a confident and assured performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica. The solemn tone of the second movement was skilfully contrasted with the vivacious scherzo of the third, and the momentum of the finale gave a satisfying end to a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Review by Alice Masterson