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Newsletter for March 2018

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 Orchestras

President: The Rt Hon. the Lord Willetts    Patrons: The Mayor of Havant; The Mayor of Fareham

March 2018 Newsletter

From the Chairman …

If you see this Newsletter in time, don’t miss our HCO Strings concert in Emsworth Baptist Church on Saturday 10th March (details below)!  After our first HCO strings concert there a year ago, the feedback from audience and players was that they had all enjoyed the concert immensely and would like another one next year.  We have therefore returned for a second concert, again as a development activity subsidised by the recent very generous legacy from Margaret (and Tony) Packe, who lived in Emsworth.

Some HCO string players will also be back in Emsworth in two weeks time.  Havant Baroque, an ensemble which includes several players from HCO and is led by Cathy Mathews, has been invited by the Mayor of Havant to perform at St James’s Church at 3pm on Sunday March 25th as the final concert of the second Havant Music Festival.  We hope to see you there!

Havant Symphony Orchestra’s concert on Saturday 17th March has been included in the Havant Music Festival schedule as well.  The Mayor of Havant will be in attendance and in support of the festival there will be a collection for the Mayor’s charities.

Three of the four works in this concert (the Liszt, Dvořák and Mussorgsky) have never been performed before by HSO in its 55-year history, even though they are all famous and fascinating works, and we are very happy to be able to rectify that omission now.

The Liszt will be familiar to fans of Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck!

We are especially pleased to welcome Alexander Sitkovetsky to perform the Dvořák violin concerto, returning for his fourth appearance with the Havant Orchestras.

Our bursary student Richard Miller will be conducting Delius’s stirring interlude.

The Mussorgsky concludes the concert, ending in grand style with the Great Gate.

Jonathan Scott     Tel: 023 8026 1372

Saturday 17th March’s Programme

at Oaklands School, Waterlooville

6.30 Pre-concert talk in the main hall by Richard Miller
7.20 Take your seats in the main hall
7.30 The Concert
conducted by Jonathan Butcher
and Richard Miller*
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 Liszt
Violin Concerto in A minor  Dvořák
 Soloist: Alexander Sitkovetsky 
    Interval – 20 minutes
*The Walk to the Paradise Garden Delius
Pictures at an Exhibition Mussorgsky
9.30 (approx) End of Concert
We wish you a safe journey home.

Pre-concert talk at 6.30pm in the main hall

The pre-concert talk about the works in our concert will be given by our bursary conductor Richard Miller

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.

Notes from the conductor… 1

Musicians tend to collect music or, perhaps, hoard might be a better word – I think conductors are probably the worst!! The problem arises when folk tell you that they have a relative, who is having a clear-out and wonders if you would might like any of his or her music? You try to resist but then they mention that their uncle, shall we say, used to conduct a local orchestra in Chester or wherever and he is getting rid of a large section of orchestral material that he has acquired over the years!  Well that’s it - and one simply can’t refuse, particularly when you are told that he is likely to put a match to the lot, if no one wants it.  Help!  Now, burning music, of any kind, is practically a mortal sin and the thought of all those ‘dots’ going up in smoke makes you positively shake, so you instantly say ‘YES – I’ll have the lot!’ Of course, you have no idea what said uncle might have purchased but, who knows – there might be a hidden gem or even some long-lost work by Butterworth or similar? Unlikely, but one never knows?

Why is he rambling on, I hear you say – well it’s because this is just how I came upon the orchestral arrangement of the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody which we are going to play.  Sometimes the ‘library’ of music you have acquired sits sadly in a pile in a back bedroom, gathering dust, until you find time to look through it.  For me it’s usually when I need to choose the repetoire for a Summer course I conduct on every year near Deal in Kent.  I dug out the Liszt, not knowing what the arrangement would sound like, and loaded it into the back of my car, along with masses of other orchestral sets – familiar and not so familiar!  On arrival at the the course, and our first rehearsal, the dust was blown off the Liszt and we sight-read it through and, ’though it wasn’t a perfect reading by any means, it was clear that the arrangement worked and that it would be very suitable for inclusion in the final concert a week later.  So, there you have it!  I am sure you will enjoy it.

Now, I have almost used up my allotted number of words for this Newsletter and you really don’t need me to say anything about Mussorgsky’s wonderful Pictures at an Exhibition - surely?  I have conducted it any number of times, in varying and unusual venues, but I think it will work extremely well in the lovely hall in Waterlooville.  On the subject of arrangements - Ravel’s one of Pictures is undoubtedly the best, so that’s what we will give you.  It’s been arranged for everything - from brass ensembles to piano duets, ’though I don’t know if it has been arranged for a recorder ensemble?  I must do some Googling!

The Dvorak fiddle concerto is, after the Sibelius, probably my favourite violin concerto.  It’s glorious!  However, my first time conducting it, with a fellow student from the RCM, was far from glorious.  It was in a very cold chapel, at a private school in East Grinstead.  It was so cold that I distinctly remember the horn players saying that as soon as they had warmed up their instruments and played their first entry if they then had more that a couple of bars rest the instrument was freezing again!  But, rather more dramatic than that, was that the soloist, now a long established member of the LPO, had a serious problem with his fingerboard, which literally came unglued, maybe because of the cold?  In the end he played on a different fiddle, belonging to one of the first violin section.  He himself went on the lead the Tokyo String Quartet and is now a conductor himself - Musical Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra no less.  I trust we will not encounter similar problems to those in East Grinstead at our concert.  The Hall is always warm!  JB

Notes from the conductor… 2

Delius’ music is almost like an English impressionism.  The term impressionist, so far as music is concerned, usually refers to music by the French composers Debussy and Ravel – indeed, Delius was a great admirer of Debussy.  Delius’ beautiful, languid melodies are accompanied by his unique, ‘bluesy’ harmonies; this bluesy-ness came as a result of his brief period in Florida managing an orange plantation.  I usually take issue with Delius’ form, but this piece, for me, is perfectly timed – not too long, not too short; none of the musical material outstays its welcome.  Listen out for the interval of a minor 3rd in his melodies (that which a cuckoo makes) – it wouldn’t be Delius without it!

So far, every run-through in rehearsal has had something slightly different about it in terms of tempo (speed) and balance (lines drawn out) – the mark of a decent rhapsodic piece, I think!  I hope I will settle by the time of the concert… that said, it’s nice to have room for some improvisation.

If you’re coming to Delius for the first time this evening, I’d recommend as further listening his On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, another orchestral miniature.  I’d also recommend his choral piece A Song of the High Hills – his choral music, though beautiful, is often incredibly difficult to perform, and so isn’t often done.

Richard Miller

CD recommendations for the works in this concert

Sourced by Gordon Egerton (Clarinet)

Liszt – Hungarian Rhapsody no.2
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta
(disc contains Hungarian Rhapsodies nos. 1 to 6)
Sony Classical Masters 8869 7939842 £5.75.

Dvorak – Violin Concerto
Ilya Kaler, Polish National Symphony Orchestra, Camilla Kolchinsky
(c/w Glazunov Violin Concerto)
Naxos 8.550758 £7.50.

Delius – The Walk to the Paradise Garden
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox
(c/w the 2 Dance Rhapsodies, In a Summer Garden, and North Country Sketches)
Chandos CHAN 9355 £12.75.

Mussorgsky/Ravel – Pictures at An Exhibition
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Kirill Karabits
(c/w Night on the Bare Mountain and Tchaikovsky Symphony no.2)
Onyx ONYX 4074 £8.92.

(Prices quoted are from the Presto Classical website).

Emsworth HCO strings concert

HCO Strings Concert at Emsworth Baptist Church 10th March 2018

Havant Baroque at the Havant Music Festival

Abdelazer suite Purcell
Concerto for two clarinets (chalumeaux)
Soloists: Robert Blanken, Jennie Flatman
Concerto Grosso in D minor RVW 565 Vivaldi
Overture to the Water Music Handel
Cello Concerto No. 6 in D major
Soloist: Mikhail Lezdkan
Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 Bach
Sunday 25th March 2018, 3pm
St James’s Church
Emsworth  PO10 7DP

Tickets: £8:00 (£2:00 under 18)
online or from
The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre

HCO May Concert

HCO Concert at Ferneham Hall 19th May 2018

Other concerts
by local orchestras

Thursday 15th March 2018, 7.30pm
Petersfield Festival Hall
Petersfield Orchestra
Humperdinck: Overture Hänsel & Gretel
Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2

Saturday 12th May 2018, 7.30pm
Romsey Abbey
City of Southampton Orchestra
Richard Strauss: Festmarsch
Brahms: Double Concerto
Mahler: Symphony No. 1

See the Events page on our website for more information about these orchestral concerts and musical events in the area, and visit for even more musical events including choral music as well as instrumental.

Society contact information

Havant and District Orchestral Society (HADOS)
Registered Charity No 288747  Email:  Tel: 023 8026 1372


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

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