Ravel wrote that he wanted his G major piano concerto to be light-hearted and brilliant, like those by Mozart and Saint Saens, and, in the quicksilver fingers of Melvyn Tan, that is exactly what it was.

In addition, Ravel expected any musician in the 1930s to be galvanised by jazz, a requirement Tan obliged to perfection, dancing the cross rhythms on the piano stool whilst revelling in the astringent harmonies and rippling glissandi.

It was a masterly performance of the astonishing concerto; echoes of Gershwin and inspiration from Spain were woven through with an eighteenth century style galant, piano and orchestra equal partners in rich colouristic texture. The audience roared applause with the rare result of an encore mid-concert – Liszt’s Bells of Geneva, a solo piano work played by Melvyn Tan with sensitive brilliance.

Barry Wordsworth opened the third concert in Brighton Philharmonic’s new season with Elgar’s Concert Overture To The South; here, the Malvern Hills gives way to the inspiration of Alassio and Elgar’s familiar orchestral literature is imbued with the sights and sounds of Italy.

The one movement work is all but a symphony in the great romantic tradition, which the Brighton Philharmonic performed to perfection – the exuberant atmosphere was captured precisely with fnely shaped phrasing which never lost balance or control.

The concert concluded with the Symphony No. 2 by Rachmaninov. This magnificently romantic Russian masterpiece demonstrates why the symphony concert and full symphony orchestra will always capture the hearts and minds of music lovers – no sound is the equal of it, especially when playing Rachmaninov’s ceaseless strings of sweeping melodic invention.

The Brighton Philharmonic rose to meet the challenge, every section of the orchestra demonstrating their abilities with towering fortissimi or whispersoft diminuendo. Exhilarating and unforgettable; a rare afternoon of music.