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.
The Havant OrchestrasPresident: The Rt Hon. the Lord Willetts   Patrons: The Mayor of Havant; The Mayor of Fareham
July 2016 Newsletterwww.havantorchestras.org.uk
- From the Chairman …
- Saturday 9th July’s Programme
- Notes from the conductor…1
- Notes from the conductor…2
- Pre-concert Talk
- CD recommendations for the works in this concert
- Bob Harding Bursary auditions
- Formal announcement of AGM
- Next concert
- Other concerts by local orchestras
- Other musical events
- Society contact information
From the Chairman …
As we come to the end of my third season as HADOS chairman, I’m pleased that we have completed the transition into the post-Craddock era, with a successful season of concerts from each of our music directors. We have also been especially grateful to have received a significant legacy plus other major donations and sponsorship which have dramatically improved the finances of the society. We still need to think about the long term, but it’s a relief to have healthier financial reserves at last.
Another aspect of future plans is that our rehearsal venue (St Faith’s Church Hall, now to be called The Pallant Centre) is being refurbished to make it a more useful resource for the community, as part of the St Faith’s ‘Big Build Campaign’ (see their website stfaith.com for more details). We are happy to support this campaign, and a group of players led by Cathy Mathews recently performed a well-received Sunday afternoon concert of Baroque Concertos in St Faith’s Church to help raise money for it. As well as hiring the hall for rehearsals, the orchestras have been able to store their music library and other equipment (timpani, conductor’s rostrum) in the building for very many years. The music library now needs to be moved out, and it is only fair that we should pay rent for the new storage space. We are grateful to have been offered suitable storage space in a room attached to the parish office, and some very helpful members of the society (especially Gunther Oestreich) are actively involved in planning and installing the shelving for this purpose.
For the final concert in this season, we are grateful that Viv McLean’s performance of the John Ireland piano concerto is being sponsored by the John Ireland Trust, and Bruce Phillips from the Trust has kindly agreed to provide the pre-concert talk about John Ireland and his concerto.
On the Tuesday after the concert, we have our next Bob Harding Bursary conductor auditions, and then in September we have our AGM and first rehearsal. Season ticket holders are welcome to attend these events; see the back page for more details.
Our next concert will be our pre-season ‘Popular Classics’ on Hayling Island in September, as described on the back page, which includes one of the most popular works of all time: Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Don’t miss it!
Saturday 9th July’s Programme
at Oaklands School, Waterlooville
|6.30||Pre-concert talk in the main hall by Bruce Phillips (John Ireland Trust)|
|7.20||Take your seats in the main hall|
conducted by Jonathan Butcher and Joseph Beckhelling*
|9.30 (approx)||End of Concert|
|We wish you a safe journey home.|
Notes from the conductor…
The story of how I first got to know the John Ireland Piano Concerto is a slightly curious one! Quite a number of years ago I was the Conductor of a young person’s orchestra – The Lydian Orchestra – in Sevenoaks. We prided ourselves on, somewhat, specialising in the chamber orchestra repertoire, as the Kent County Youth Orchestra tended to tackle larger scale works, for obvious reasons.
The standard of the orchestra was pretty high and we had a good number of very talented players, many of whom have gone on to extremely successful careers in the music profession. A good number of these young players had piano as their second study and they all seemed to learn from a rather popular teacher in the Sevenoaks area, by the name of Bernard King. I had never met him but it cropped up in conversation with the players that we might ask Bernard to perform a piano concerto with the orchestra. He was also an established soloist. So – he was duly approached. As I say, the Lydian Orchestra, in those days, tried to restrict its programming to smaller scale works, but as you will discover at the HSO concert, the Ireland Concerto is definitely not chamber orchestra repertoire, so in Sevenoaks we had a quandary. Well not really, as I immediately fell in love with the piece and, as so many of the players were keen for Bernard to play, the decision was simple – we should do the piece! We did and it was a big hit, as I hope it will be at our concert on the 9th July. The Ireland is a very lyrical work, abounding in great tunes, and most definitely is in Ireland's unmistakable voice. I have performed the Concerto with Viv McLean once already this year, so I can assure you that you will enjoy his performance. Incidentally, the Lydian orchestra is still going strong – some 25 years later! I am not sure where Bernard King is now but he has one thing very much in common with Viv McLean – they are both wonderful musicians, who are so accommodating and pleasant with which to work. This is not always so with soloists.
Rachmaninov’s ever popular 2nd Symphony has always eclipsed his other two but, in my opinion, for no apparent or particularly logical reason? His first Symphony abounds with drama and great melodies, some of them a little quirky but, nevertheless memorable. The important thing to take ‘on board’ is that, throughout the four movement work he frequently uses a six note figure to brilliant and imaginative effect. The figure only uses two repeated notes, which normally appear as – short-long, long-short, short-long, if that makes sense? Its first official and obvious appearance is really as the second, important tune in the first movement, which is, unusually, in the time of seven beats in a bar, ’though you will hardly notice this, as the tune seems so natural and flowing.
One other thing is perhaps worth noting. The slow movement comes third – meaning that the faster Scherzo keeps the momentum and faster pace of the first movement going longer, ’though the Scherzo has a much more ‘will-o’-the-wisp’ feeling to it, in great contrast to the end of the last movement, which could not be more dramatic or final.
I do hope as many of you as possible will join us for this last concert in our present season. I feel confident that you will not be disappointed and, of course, we love to perform to a large audience. It makes it all even more worthwhile.
Notes from the conductor…2
Our final concert of the season is packed to the rafters with drama, not least in Brahms’ Tragic Overture. This turbulent piece, described as “weeping” by the composer, is a perturbing journey that leaves the listener more unsettled at its conclusion than at the beginning. Its passionate melodies, ever-building tension and unsettled tonality makes this work an absolute rollercoaster ride – one that I very much look forward to sharing with you on the 9th July.
Looking a little further ahead, our Hayling Island concert promises to be a thrilling event, with a programme of Nicolai’s Merry Wives of Windsor, Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto, with the phenomenal Jinah Shim on the piano, and finally Sibelius’ majestic Symphony No. 2. The Sibelius is a personal favourite of mine, particularly the finale. Kajanus, the Finnish conductor and composer, once wrote of the last movement: the “conclusion is intended to rouse in the listener a picture of lighter and confident prospects for the future.” A picture we could perhaps all benefit from at the moment.
See you at the next concert!
Pre-concert talk at 6:30pm in the main hall
The pre-concert talk will be about John Ireland and his piano concerto, and will be given by Bruce Phillips of the John Ireland Trust, who knew John Ireland.
We recommend taking seats at or near the front so that you can easily hear the speaker and musical excerpts. If you miss the start, please feel free to enter quietly.
CD recommendations for the works in this concert
Sourced by Gordon Egerton (Clarinet)
Brahms – Tragic Overture
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Marin Alsop
(c/w Symphony no.1 & Academic Festival Overture).
Naxos 8557428 £6.25.
Ireland – Piano Concerto
Kathryn Stott, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley
(c/w Bridge 'Phantasm' & Walton Sinfonia Concertante).
Dutton CDLX 7223 £12.50.
Rachmaninov – Symphony no.1
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko
(c/w 'Prince Rostoslav').
Warner Classics 4095962 £11.75.
(Prices quoted are from the Presto Classical website).
Bob Harding Bursary Award audition, Tuesday 12th July 2016
Auditions for our next student conductor will take place from 7.15pm to 9.45pm on Tuesday 12th July 2016 at our usual rehearsal venue, St Faith’s Church Hall. Non-playing members (season ticket holders) are welcome to come and listen.
Formal Notice of AGM, Friday 9th September 2016
The AGM of the Havant and District Orchestral Society will be held at 7.15pm on Friday 9th September 2016 at St Faith’s Church Hall, The Pallant, Havant (now also known as The Pallant Centre). 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 then the evening will conclude with a rehearsal. Non-playing members are invited to stay and listen to the rehearsal.
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 www.havantorchestras.org.uk or search for “Havant Orchestras”. For tickets by phone via TicketSource, phone 03336 663366 (booking fee £1.50).
by local orchestras
Saturday 16th July 2016, 7.30pm
St Paul's Church, Chichester
Chichester Symphony Orchestra
Brahms, Hummel, Beethoven
Saturday 1st October 2016, 7.30pm
Romsey Abbey, Romsey
Southampton Concert Orchestra
Stravinsky, Brahms, Saint-Saëns
Other musical events
compiled by Geoff Porter
Thursday 22nd September 2016, 7.30pm
The Worthing Wind Quintet
with Chris Coote, piano
Tickets £10 to include refreshments.