Is it possible to listen to Paul Dukas’ symphonic scherzo The Sorcerer’s Apprenticewithout seeing Mickey Mouse doing battle with water-carrying brooms? Or even to hear echoes of John Williams’ Star Warssoundtrack?

Sergei Dogadin. Photo © Dimitrii Yakimov

It depends on your demographic, I suppose. But it doesn’t matter: Dukas’ symphonic scherzo, as much a masterclass in storytelling through thematic transformation and narrative orchestration, has over the years lost none of its power to delight and enchant. This occasion was no different, with conductor Nicholas Carter laughing off a ringtone intervention before he and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra took us on a spellbinding authoritative journey through Dukas’ artistry and our own memories.

Following this magical opening, Russian violinist Sergei Dogadin joined conductor and orchestra for Alexander Glazunov’s 1904 Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op 42. A glorious work in the late romantic vein for soloist and orchestra, combining a dazzling panoply of technical devices with attractive melodies and luminous orchestration, this is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. It was then to Dogadin’s credit that his performance, even in the substantial cadenza, eschewed any sense of flashy virtuosity, opting instead to contrast a...

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