THERE can indeed be no finer way to spend a winter’s afternoon than in the relaxing and warming glow of an orchestra in full swing. 

Performing the second show in the International Concert Series, the Welsh National Opera (WNO) Orchestra paid tribute to European composers – Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Dvorak – in the performance.

Led by Czech conductor Tomas Hanus, the WNO’s musical director commanded the orchestra with vigour yet delicacy, demonstrating his own skill in the concert hall, teaming with talented performers.

The first half began with Beethoven’s Egmont overture, followed by Mendelssohn’s violin concerto which saw Norwegian violin virtuoso Henning Kraggerud joining the performance.

In a dazzling display of musicianship, the soloist’s understated yet masterful style meshed perfectly with the orchestra, ebbing and flowing in perfect unison.

Dvorak’s Symphony No 9 from The New World – part of which is most recognisable as the Hovis advert from the 70s – capped off a wonderful display.

Whatever can be going on outside of the real world, the skilled musicians erode those qualms into nothing in the space of two hours. 

For anyone assuming that classical music is not for them, why not put your theory to the test and then decide.