Although Shostakovich’s passionate and bombastic Symphony No 5 was the main feature of this West Australian Symphony Orchestra concert, the first half was equally beautifully rendered, including an orchestral suite from Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnbergand the emotive Poèmefor violin and orchestra by Ernest Chausson.

WASO Masters Shostakovich

Principal Conductor Asher Fisch’s fine interpretation and depth of experience for Wagnerian repertoire was very evident in the opening piece of the concert – orchestral selections from the 1868 operatic comedy Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. These lush and optimistic music selections were skilfully rendered; the opening string movement of the prelude was rich and dynamically varied, and the playfulness of the excellent woodwind section within the Dance of the Apprenticeswas vivid and bright.

Not a prolific composer, Ernest Chausson reportedly wrote the 1896 Poèmefor violin and orchestra after a request for a violin concerto from his friend, the Belgian virtuoso violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. This initial request apparently rather...