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Newsletter for July 2015

This is an edited version of the Havant Orchestras newsletter which is provided in printed form (or e-mailed in PDF format, if requested) to players and Friends of the Orchestras.

From the Chairman …

Richard Harwood

We are very pleased to be able to welcome cellist Richard Harwood back to the area where he grew up; he first performed a concerto with us as a local schoolboy and has regularly featured in our concerts over the years.  He is now an established cellist on the international scene, including playing in the Sitkovetsky Trio with violinist Alexander (Sasha) Sitkovetsky, another of our top soloists, and he is principal cello of the John Wilson Orchestra.

As if that wasn’t enough, our concert also includes the magnificent and moving Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 (a personal favourite of mine) and the Kabalevsky overture Colas Breugnon, selected by our conductor Jonathan Butcher, who describes it as a “musical firecracker”!

This special finale concludes our first full season of HSO back at Oaklands Catholic School, and we hope to see a large audience, especially as the light summer evenings should reassure those who don’t like to travel in the dark.

After the concert, we have our bursary auditions the following week (see below) then we have a break before we resume with our combined AGM and first HSO rehearsal in September.  We would like to remind you that the voting members of the society include not only the subscription-paying players but also season ticket holders (unless they have specified otherwise).  Please come to the AGM, see how things are run, and find out what you might be able to do to help.  Non-playing members are very welcome to stay afterwards to watch the HSO rehearsal.

One thing we are hoping to see soon is some long-awaited improvements to our rehearsal venue, St. Faith’s Church Hall.  A user group has been set up to help with the Church’s plans for redevelopment of the buildings under the new name “The Pallant Centre”, and volunteers have been helping tidy up the buildings and garden.  If you want to know more details or might have time to help, please speak to Stella or Gunther at the concert or email us.

Jonathan Scott     Tel: 023 8026 1372

Saturday 11th July’s Programme

at Oaklands School, Waterlooville

6.30 Pre-concert talk in the main hall by Vincent Iyengar
7.00 Pre-concert interlude in the Octagon Lounge by local music pupils
7.20 Take your seats in the main hall
7.30 The Concert
conducted by Jonathan Butcher
Overture Colas Breugnon Kabalevsky
Cello Concerto 
 Soloist: Richard Harwood
    Interval – 20 minutes
Symphony No. 5 Shostakovich
9.30 (approx) End of Concert
We wish you a safe journey home.

Pre-concert Talk

6:30pm in the main hall

Find out more about the Shostakovich Symphony by arriving early and attending the pre-concert talk in the main hall, which will be given by Vincent Iyengar (HSO viola).

Pre-Concert Interlude

7:00pm in the main hall

After the pre-concert talk, an interlude of pre-concert music will be provided in the main hall by the children of the Mayville High School Pre-prep and Upper 2 Choir, directed by Rachael Sims.

Notes from the conductor…

So – we come to the last concert of this current season – and what a concert! Two giants of the standard repertoire and a musical firecracker as an opener!

I first encountered the Overture Colas Breugnon when I was a member of the, short lived, British Youth Orchestra – as a trumpeter.  A really excellent choice for young people.  I found it instantly engaging and wonderfully exhilarating.  I hope you will think the same.  It goes by at breakneck speed and is full of invention.  The actual opera is rarely heard these days, but if the Overture is anything to go by it ought to be good.  It is scored for a large orchestra and, more or less, everyone has a virtuosic part to play.  Keep an ear and eye, especially, on the percussion section!

The Dvorak ’Cello Concerto needs little introduction and is, to my mind, the greatest of all Concertos written for this genre.  Most musical aficionados agree.  There simply isn’t a bad or remotely dubious bar in the entire work.  If you are going to be hearing this work for the first time I envy you – and I genuinely mean that.  I think I was far too young to appreciate it at my first hearing and having recently read a biography of Dvorak and his tragic early marital life – he lost several children – it is all the more astonishing that he should have composed such a ravishingly beautiful work.  It’s incredibly well scored as well.  There are so many high spots but I should mention that the opening of the slow movement is particularly serene and I have always loved the coda of the last movement – so unexpected and there’s a tremendous sense of jubilation and a feeling that all will be well in the final few bars.  Perhaps that’s how Dvorak kept going, when he had suffered so much grief?  He had faith in his future and his music’s longevity perhaps - and he was proved correct?

Now to our Symphony and possibly one of Shostakovich’s most revered and most frequently played works.  It was an unprecedented triumph at its première in 1937, despite Shostakovitch having, as it were, to musically/politically ‘toe the line!’  It is an amazingly taut work and I believe has the power to, almost, force the listener to concentrate, if that doesn’t sound like too much of a punishment.  I hope not anyway. The slow movement opening is almost Mahlerian, whereas the other middle movement is practically a throwaway and is over before you know it!  Playing this Symphony is, I believe, a first for the HSO and we have all enjoyed working at it to bring this massive composition together.  Again – if you are new to the work you are definitely in for a treat, but don’t let the opening of the first movement put you off, if indeed it does.  Yes, it is dark but suddenly, almost out of nowhere comes a brilliant march like figure, of the type that Shostakovitch is so good at.  You will need to read our programme notes to get the full background to the work’s composition and early life – it wasn’t straightforward and it was composed at a very difficult period, so please allow a little time before the concert or during the interval to read up about it. You’ll definitely get more from our performance if you do. Of course, you could always do a little Googling and look on Wikipedia?

Thanks for your continued support this season and I hope you enjoy the concert.

Jonathan Butcher

CD recommendations for the works in this concert

Sourced by Gordon Egerton (Clarinet)

Kabalevsky - ‘Colas Breugnon’ Overture
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Vassily Sinaisky
(c/w ‘The Comedians’ suite and Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3).
Chandos CHAN 10052 £11.75.

Dvořák - Cello Concerto
Mstislav Rostropovich, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan
(c/w Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations)
DG 4474132 £8.50.

Shostakovich - Symphony No. 5
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko
(c/w Symphony No. 9)
Naxos 8.572167 £6.25.

(Prices quoted are from the Presto Classical website).

Website moving to

For many years, we have been enjoying the use of the Hampshire County Council free web hosting service, but we were recently notified that this service will be closed down in July 2016.  We therefore needed to move our existing website, and we also needed to change the name, as the existing name was within the Hampshire County Council site and could not be moved.  We have therefore registered our own website name, (dropping “hampshire” from the existing name), and set up a new copy of the website using the hosting provider who very generously provide free hosting for registered UK charities.  The old website has been set to redirect requests automatically to the new one, so the old name should continue to work at least as long until HCC closes down the service, giving us at least a year to complete the switch to the new name.

Jonathan Scott     Tel: 023 8026 1372

Bob Harding Bursary Award audition, Friday 17th July

Auditions for our next student conductor will take place from 7.15pm to 9.45pm on Friday 17th July 2015 at our usual rehearsal venue, St Faith’s Church Hall.  Non-playing members (season ticket holders) are welcome to come and listen.

Jonathan Scott     Tel: 023 8026 1372

Formal Notice of AGM, Friday 4th September

The AGM of the Havant and District Orchestral Society will be held at 7.15pm on Friday 4th September 2015 at St Faith’s Church Hall, The Pallant, Havant.  All members of the Society (that is, playing members and season ticket holders) are invited to attend.

Places are available on the committee and nominations for election may be sent to the Chairman in advance (with the names of candidate, proposer and seconder) or submitted at the meeting.

Following the AGM, refreshments will be served and the evening will conclude with a rehearsal to which all non-playing members are invited.

Jonathan Scott     Tel: 023 8026 1372

Havant Symphony

Conductor: Colin Jagger
Leader: Cathy Mathews
Overture Der Freischütz Weber
Piano Concerto No.2 in F minor 
   Soloist: Alexander Ullman
Symphony No.5 in E minorTchaikovsky
Saturday 19th Sept. 2015, 7.30pm
Hayling Island
Community Centre

The Park, Station Road,
PO11 0HB
Tickets £12.00; Senior Citizens £10.00; S/Ticket holders £10.00; Students £6.00; Children £1.00

Tickets for the Hayling concert will be on sale from mid-August at the Community Centre and at Hayling Island Bookshop, Mengham.  For on-line tickets see our website or search for “Havant Orchestras”.  For tickets by phone via TicketSource, phone 03336 663366 (booking fee £1.50).

Other orchestral concerts

(See Events page on our website for details)

Saturday 4th July 2015, 7:30pm
St Michael's Church, Lyndhurst
Per Piacere Chamber Orchestra
Mozart, Haydn, Weiner

Saturday 4th July 2015, 7:30pm
United Reformed Church, Fareham
Portsmouth Philharmonia
with Meon Valley Band

Charity concert of light classics

Sunday 5th July 2015, 7:00pm
Royal Marines Museum, Southsea
Solent Symphony Orchestra
Haydn, Beethoven

Sunday 12th July 2015, 7:30pm
University Chapel, Chichester
Chichester Symphony Orchestra
Festival of Chichester 2015 Concert
Borodin, Rodrigo, Dvořák

Society contact information can be found on the Contacts page within this web site.

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