INTENSE young German cellist Leonard Elschenbroich captivated a packed Pavilion Theatre on Sunday.

His was an expressive and vigorous rendition of Elgar’s beloved Cello Concerto, with the liberal use of vibrato adding an emphatic quality to each note and a dominating rhythm.

The BSO, under the baton of Christoph König, followed the twists and turns of this idiosyncratic performance with care, maintaining a sense of restraint of the dynamics ensuring the soloist was never in any danger of being overwhelmed.

The concert opened in a similarly meditative mood, with Wagner’s whimsical Siegfried Idyll, repurposed from a romantic serenade he composes for his wife.

The strings were light and elegeic, and the woodwind clear-voiced in a suitably delicate rendition.

Last, the players got the opportunity to let their hair down with Dvorak’s eternally-popular New World Symphony.

Seldom can a crowd-pleaser have been so pleasing. The ensemble charmed when the wind took up sprightly folk melodies, and fizzed with energy in the strings during the pacey parts of the final movement.

It was as clear a demonstration as any of why the BSO has become internationally famed and appreciated.