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 …
Welcome to our new season!
Our musical activities started with our traditional “Popular Classics” concert at Hayling Island Community Centre on 19th September. Last season’s Bursary student Iggy Wang was unavailable for this concert, so we were very grateful to Colin Jagger for stepping in again to conduct it (for the third consecutive year), including selecting the works and finding an excellent piano soloist, Alexander Ullman. We always get a good audience on Hayling Island, and we appreciate their enthusiastic support. The concert displayed a wide range of musical expression, from the delicate and intricate slow movement of Chopin’s piano Concerto No. 2 to the triumphant (and somewhat noisy) exuberance of the last movement of Tchaikovsky’s famous Symphony No. 5. Audience members and players seem to have enjoyed it greatly; we received some very complimentary messages afterwards.
Our conductors Robin Browning (HCO) and Jonathan Butcher (HSO) have now taken up their new additional roles as Musical Directors of their respective orchestras, selecting the main concert programmes and soloists for this season.
Our first main concert this season is on a Sunday evening rather than the usual Saturday. Ferneham Hall was not available on any Saturday around the usual date but as there is no other suitable venue nearby we felt that it would be better for our loyal audience members if we stayed in our usual venue but had the concert on a Sunday, rather than keeping it on a Saturday and moving it to a different area.
We are particularly pleased that Robin Browning has enticed superstar guitarist Craig Ogden (regularly featured on Classic FM) to join HCO to play the most famous of all guitar concertos, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez. Robin has worked with Craig before and is very much looking forward to this concert. Audience members who arrive early enough can attend the free pre-concert talk, with Craig and Robin talking to Piers Burton-Page.
The concert starts with one of the three Leonora Overtures which Beethoven wrote for his opera Fidelio. Beethoven eventually wrote a further Fidelio Overture for the opera itself, but all three Leonora Overtures are well-known as concert works.
For the second half, we have Brahms’ delightful first serenade, a lighter orchestral work in six movements completed nearly 17 years before his first symphony. He originally wrote it for chamber ensemble, initially for an octet then rearranged and expanded for a nonet. Soon afterwards he started to become more familiar with orchestral composition while working on his first piano concerto, so he took the serenade and expanded it again to become his first purely orchestral work.
This is an ideal occasion to bring along friends or neighbours to a Havant Chamber Orchestra concert for the first time, and we hope that they will then want to attend more concerts. The Havant Orchestras make it possible for people to see live local orchestral music at a reasonable price, as well as providing local amateur musicians with regular playing and performance opportunities, but dwindling audiences for classical music are placing a lot of pressure on our finances. Our somewhat painful changes over the last two seasons (including ceasing to include paid regular players in HSO and moving HSO concerts to Oaklands School) have greatly improved the short term financial situation, but in the longer term we need to sell more tickets.
We are also looking for sponsorship and other donations now that other sources of support such as local authority grants are no longer available. If anyone is willing to help coordinate this additional fund-raising by taking up the vacant role of “Friends’ Secretary” we would be very pleased to hear from them!
Sunday 11th October’s Programme
at Ferneham Hall, Fareham
|6.30||Pre-concert talk in the auditorium: Craig Ogden and Robin Browning interviewed by Piers Burton-Page|
|7.00||Pre-concert music in the Octagon Lounge by local music pupils|
|7.20||Take your seats in the auditorium|
conducted by Robin Browning
|9.30 (approx)||End of Concert|
|We wish you a safe journey home.|
6:30pm in the auditorium
Arrive early to catch this special event! Guitar soloist Craig Ogden and conductor Robin Browning will be talking to Piers Burton-Page.
7:00pm in the Octagon Lounge
Pre-concert music will be provided by Robert Martin’s Suzuki violin group, consisting of about 10 young violin pupils.
Notes from the conductor…
Welcome to a brand new season, and my first officially as Music Director of Havant Chamber Orchestra. Despite my association with the orchestra as a regular guest for some time now, this marks the beginning of a new chapter in the life of HCO and also in my own career. It goes without saying that I’m looking forward to our concerts together – and this 15-16 opener is no exception.
Two fabulous things spring off the page when glancing at the programme for Sunday 11 October. Firstly, HCO welcomes superstar guitarist Craig Ogden to perform the Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez. And in the 75th anniversary year of this most famous work’s premiere, too. The concerto almost certainly needs no introduction – I remember it being one of the earliest pieces of classical music I ever heard, as my parents had a 45rpm single of the slow movement. Such intense and passionate, rhythmical music – with many familiar pieces such as this, it’s easy to overlook how well-crafted they are.
And I’m sure Craig needs no introduction either. Undeniably one of the world’s greatest guitarists, it truly is a pleasure to share the stage with him for our season launch. This will be the fourth time I’ve performed the Rodrigo with him – always a huge joy to work alongside such an artist and consummate professional.
The second marvel of this programme is the Brahms first serenade. Far less known than the Rodrigo, less often performed than any of his symphonies, yet – to my mind – amongst the richest and highly skilled orchestral works he wrote. Containing six movements, including two scherzi, and a gorgeous slow movement spanning almost 15 minutes, this is sure to show all the players of Havant Chamber Orchestra at their very best. An ideal Autumnal masterpiece!
Robin Browning www.robinbrowning.com
CD recommendations for the works in this concert
Sourced by Gordon Egerton (Clarinet)
Beethoven – Overture Leonora no.1
Tonhalle Orchestra, Zurich, David Zinman
(the disc contains all the overtures).
Arte Nova 8.28765 78312 £7.75
Rodrigo – Concierto de Aranjuez
Craig Ogden, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Sachio Fujioka
(c/w Fantasia para un gentilhombre & Concierto para un fiesta).
Chandos CHAN 9604 £11.75
Brahms – Serenade No. 1
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Riccardo Chailly
(c/w Serenade No. 2).
Decca 4786775 £11.75
(Prices quoted are from the Presto Classical website).
Recent baroque concert in Droxford Church
On Sunday 13th September, Cathy Mathews and HCO manager Barbara Martin assembled a dozen string players from Havant Chamber Orchestra together with Richard Moore, bassoon, to provide a free afternoon concert of ‘Beautiful Baroque Concertos’ (along with a Mozart Divertimento) in Droxford Church. The concert aimed to promote local awareness of Havant Chamber Orchestra and to raise money (via a retiring collection) for the church itself. It was very successful both musically and financially; it was enjoyed by the audience and the players, and raised a significant amount for the church, from which they kindly made a donation to Havant Chamber Orchestra. Given the success of this venture, we are considering similar events elsewhere in the future; if you have any suggestions for locations, please let us know.
Conductor: Jonathan Butcher
Leader: Cathy Mathews
|Festive Overture, Op 96||Shostakovich|
|Pavane pour une infante défunte||Ravel|
|Four Last Songs|
Soloist: Jane Streeton
|Symphony No.1 in A major||Elgar|
Saturday 5th Dec. 2015, 7.30pm
Oaklands School, Waterlooville PO7 7BW
Other orchestral concerts
(See Events page on our website for details)
Sunday 22nd November 2015, 7:30pm
Thornden Hall, Chandlers Ford
Southampton Concert Orchestra
Sibelius, Malcolm Arnold, Rachmaninoff
Sunday 22nd November 2015, 7:30pm
New Hall, Winchester
Winchester Symphony Orchestra
Thursday 26th November 2015, 7:30pm
Petersfield Festival Hall
Borodin, Mozart, Sibelius
Thursday 26th November 2015, 7:30pm
Winchester Music Club
Sunday 29th November 2015, 3:00pm
Turner Sims, Southampton
són chamber orchestra
Launch concert: Sibelius Unwrapped
Other musical events
Thursday 15th October 2015,
‘Pieces of Eight’ at Stansted House, Rowlands Castle:
Cathy Mathews and Friends present three octets for strings and wind,
including Schubert’s Octet.
Interval refreshments included in £10 ticket: ring Stansted Park on 02392 412265.
Further information about the Havant Orchestras and our concerts is available in our colour brochure and on our new website www.havantorchestras.org.uk which we set up recently after being informed that the Hampshire website service is closing next July. The old website still exists for now but simply redirects any requests to the new one, so any bookmarks and links (including printed references to the old website) need to be updated before it goes away.
Society contact information can be found on the Contacts page within this web site.