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Newsletter for March 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 …

Jonathan Butcher

Robin Browning
I am very pleased to announce that we have now appointed Jonathan Butcher as Musical Director of HSO and Robin Browning as Musical Director of HCO, with effect from September 2015.  This means that in addition to their existing conducting roles they will now also be responsible for planning their concert programmes, arranging soloists, working with orchestral managers to select suitable players, and generally guiding the future musical direction of the orchestras.  The planning work is already well under way, in that both conductors have already provided us with excellent concert programmes for next season.  The next step is to arrange suitable soloists, and we are hopeful that everything will be in place in time for us to publish the details before our May concert as usual.

Ignatius Wang
We are looking forward to our student conductor Ignatius (Iggy) Wang conducting HSO in the dramatic and exciting William Tell overture which opens Saturday’s concert.  Unfortunately, this will be Iggy’s last appearance with HSO, because after the concert he will be returning to Singapore to take up his new band director job.  At the time of the Bob Harding bursary auditions, Iggy had hoped that it would be possible for him to spend more time in the UK with HSO, but it later became clear that this would not be practical.  We have very much enjoyed working with him and wish him the very best for the future.

Boris Brovtsyn
We are very pleased to welcome Boris Brovtsyn to play the Sibelius violin concerto.  As announced in the previous newsletter, our originally scheduled soloist for this concert, Alexander (Sasha) Sitkovetsky, won an award which meant that he really needed to be elsewhere on our concert day.  Sasha very helpfully put us in touch with international soloist Boris Brovtsyn, who like Sasha is also from Moscow, and we are looking forward to working with him.

After Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 the concert concludes with his Hungarian Dance No. 6.  The Hungarian Dances were first written for piano duet but were later arranged for orchestra by various composers, including some by Brahms himself.  HSO are using a well-known arrangement by Martin Schmeling.

Jonathan Scott
Tel: 023 8026 1372

Saturday 28th March’s Programme

at Oaklands School, Waterlooville

6.30 Pre-concert talk by Ignatius Wang about “William Tell” in the main hall
7.00 Pre-concert interlude Pre-concert interlude in the main hall by local music pupils (not confirmed)
7.20 Take your seats in the main hall
7.30 The Concert
conducted by Jonathan Butcher and Ignatius Wang*
*Overture William Tell Rossini
Violin Concerto in D minor 
Soloist: Boris Brovtsyn
    Interval – 20 minutes
Symphony No. 3 in F Brahms
Hungarian Dance No. 6 Brahms, arr. Schmeling
9.30 (approx) End of Concert
We wish you a safe journey home.

Pre-concert Talk

6:30pm in the auditorium

Our student conductor Ignatius (Iggy) Wang will be giving the pre-concert talk, introducing Rossini’s “William Tell” Overture which Iggy will be conducting at the start of the concert. 

Pre-Concert Interlude

7:00pm in the main hall

We were hoping to have pre-concert music as usual with local music pupils in the main hall, but this time we have not yet found anyone available on the date so this item may not materialise.  Please let us know if you have any suggestions!. 

Notes from the conductor…

Brahms’ 4 Symphonies are all unique masterpieces!  I don't think many folk would disagree with that statement.  Every time I conduct one I find something new to fascinate and intrigue me.  It’s almost as if any new discovery were not there before?

His 3rd Symphony is a little different from the others in one specific way in that it ends quietly but, of course, there’s nothing wrong with that.  The piece just unwinds and comes to a peaceful, serene conclusion in F major.  There’s a sense that all has been resolved.

I first conducted Brahms 3 in Sevenoaks and that happy experience has remained firmly in my memory ever since.  I am sure, in my early twenties or was it late teens, I can’t have found it at all easy but it obviously did not put me off Brahms as I have loved, more or less, all his music ever since.  The year I studied at Tanglewood, USA – the Festival had Brahms as their central composer.  It may have been some anniversary? Anyway – the Boston Symphony Orchestra played all his orchestral works.  You can imagine we students were in seventh heaven.  Particularly when we studied the 4th Symphony with Leonard Bernstein.

The first movement, ’though marked Allegro con brio is really rather broad and expansive with a glorious second subject.  The second movement develops from a sort of chorale played by the lower woodwind.  I had the curious experience of conducting part of this movement in a conducting competition in France, where various wrong notes were inserted for us to spot!  I seem to remember I managed to locate most of them.  The third movement is by way of an elegant waltz, where the ’celli and the first horn have the melody – and some melody it is.  One of Brahms’ very finest.  The last movement begins with a murmur then explodes leading to a tune, again played by the ’celli and 1st horn, which has a marvellous walking bass – almost jazz like.  Then there’s that calm conclusion.

Now – because we thought you might like to make your journey home with a spring in your step the concert will end with an Hungarian Dance, also by Brahms – and wow is it Hungarian.  It’s not the most famous one but it is good.

Our concerto is, without doubt, my favourite fiddle concerto and, from the very first note, it is so obviously Sibelius through and through.  I have conducted it with any number of different soloists but for those of you who remember the early days of the BBC Young Musician of the Year and the violinist Alan Brind – well I conducted it with him, as soloist, at the Dorking Halls.  I remember that in the second movement – in a very complicated section – he lost his grip on his bow and it went flying in the air above him only for him catch it again and barely miss a note.  Amazing!

The Overture – William Tell – will be conducted by Iggy, our Bursary holder.  Watch out for the ’celli again, the cor anglais, flute sections and the storm.  Rossini wrote quite a few of the latter – always very descriptive.  Now – I suspect the older ones among you will want to shout something out when the overture enters its final section but I won't give the game away here, ’though I am so tempted.

Jonathan Butcher

CDs for this concert

Sourced by Gordon Egerton (Clarinet)

Rossini - 'William Tell' Overture
Montreal Symphony Orchestra,
Charles Dutoit
(c/w other overtures).
Decca Australian Eloquence
ELQ 4605902 £7.75.

Sibelius - Violin Concerto
Victoria Mullova,
Boston Symphony Orchestra, Seiji Ozawa
(c/w Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto).
Philips 464 7412 £8.50.

Brahms - Symphony No. 3
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,
Claudio Abbado
(c/w Tragic Overture & Schicksalslied).
DG 4297652 £11.50.

Brahms - Hungarian Dance No. 6
New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein
(c/w orchestral works by Borodin, Enescu, & Liszt).
Sony Classical Masters 8869 7712 832 £5.75.

Colour newsletter

As most society members now receive the newsletter by email, saving the society the printing and postage costs, and the few remaining printed copies are now produced on our own colour inkjet printer, we thought it might make the newsletter more interesting if we included some colour photos and other uses of colour.  We are also considering other changes to the layout and format of the newsletter, for example to include extra pages when we have more news.

This will have the side-effect that the emailed copies will be a little larger, and will mean that the newsletter may not print so well in black and white, but we hope that these minor issues will not inconvenience any of our members.

Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions relating to this change.

Jonathan Scott
Tel: 023 8026 1372

Committee and helpers

At our latest committee meeting, we were pleased to be able to welcome a new committee member, Michael Cook (violinist with HSO and HCO).  When we mentioned some of the roles and tasks where we could do with some help, it again called attention to the fact that we are still thinly stretched, and we would welcome further help, both inside and outside the committee.

In particular, it would be useful to have more help around Oaklands concerts, for example to show people the way from the car parks to the hall!  If you may be able to help, please let us know.

Jonathan Scott
Tel: 023 8026 1372

Bill Clarke

We are very sorry to inform you that Bill Clarke, former HSO violinist and HADOS hire librarian, died last month.

Bill joined the second violins of HSO in 1971 and remained a loyal and enthusiastic member for over 40 years until his health made it impossible to continue.  He will be fondly remembered by the players for his friendly good humour and his compendious knowledge of music and of recordings.  He had many interesting and entertaining tales to tell of performances by all the famous conductors of the mid-twentieth century.  He also served for many years as the Orchestras’ music hire librarian, a valuable service for orchestras throughout the country and useful source of income for our orchestras.

He will be much missed by the longer-serving members of the orchestra.

Tony Gutteridge

Saturday 16th May 2015

Havant Chamber Orchestra
at Ferneham Hall, Fareham

Conductor: Robin Browning
Leader: Brian Howells
Overture Preciosa Weber
Violin Concerto in D 
   Soloist: Savitri Grier
Symphony No. 2 in BbSchubert

Savitri Grier
Tickets  £20.00; £17.00; £14.00; £8.00
Students half price / Under 19s £1.00
On Sale at Ferneham Hall Box Office
01329 231942

Other Musical Events

compiled by Geoff Porter

Thursday 2 April 2015 at 7.30 pm at Horndean Music Society,
Anemos Wind Quintet.
Visitors £7.

Friday 17 April 2015 at 7.30 pm at Portsmouth Guildhall,
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra plays Khachaturian and Dvořák .

Monday 27 April 2015 at 7.00pm in the Harlequin Room, Portsmouth Guildhall, Benyounes String Quartet.

Friday 1 May 2015 at 7.30 pm at Portsmouth Guildhall,
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra plays Rachmaninov & Prokofiev, conducted by Kirill Karabits.

Thursday 7 May 2015 at 7.30 pm. Stansted House Musical Evening
with Music Students from Chichester University and Susan Legg.
Tickets £10 include interval refreshments 02392 412265.

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

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