“Suckling’s de sol y grana, a violin concerto commissioned by the music charity London Music Masters, was here receiving its first performance. It was inspired by Antonio Machado’s poem, in which songs become bubbles, floating away on delicate, short-lived trajectories, refracting colours as they go. It’s a delicate little conceit, but one that gives little hint of the sometimes forceful nature of the work.

Its opening section was tautly controlled and powerful, soloist Agneta Szymczewska dispatching volleys of notes with concentrated virtuosity against a feverish orchestral backdrop.

The technique and imagination on show throughout Suckling’s score was enormously impressive, but the piece was most memorable in the later sections. An elegiac strings-only passage, played in heavy, long bows, made way for a brief, unexpectedly moving duet, Szymczewska’s trills flitting playfully above a melancholy bass flute line. A tense build-up, with the violin increasingly insistent, led to the work’s throwaway conclusion - a final bubble gently popping, one imagined.
— Hugo Shirley