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Oaklands Catholic School,
Waterlooville (Click here for directions)


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Saturday 6th December 2014   7.30
Conductors:  Jonathan Butcher and Ignatius Wang*

6.30pm: Pre-concert talk in the main hall by our bursary award student conductor Ignatius Wang from Singapore.  He will be talking about his experiences as a conducting student and about some of the works in the programme.

*Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor Borodin

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini – Rachmaninov
Soloist: Viv McLean

Symphonic Suite Scheherazade Rimsky-Korsakov

Havant Symphony Orchestra are looking forward to returning to their home Borough with an exciting concert of Russian Romantic classics at Oaklands Catholic School.

Alexander Borodin spent over 10 years writing his opera Prince Igor and still it wasn’t finished in his lifetime.  The Polovtsian Dances which appear in the opera have found a separate life as either ballet or straight concert music.  In 1953, Wright and Forrest adapted several of the tunes from the Dances for use in their musical Kismet, the most famous melody being that used for the song Stranger in Paradise.

Also using a theme from an earlier composer, Sergei Rachmaninov chose a theme by Paganini on which to base his Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra.  Here also there is one particularly famous melody – the 18th Variation – but there are fireworks, technical bravura from the soloist and a sumptuous string sound throughout the piece!  Pianist Viv McLean has performed twice with the Havant Chamber Orchestra but this will be his first appearance with the Symphony Orchestra and we are sure he will be a big hit!

From the Polovtsy – the Russian name for the Cuman people of Hungary and Romania – we travel to Persia for the second half of our concert.  The Persian Queen Scheherazade was the legendary storyteller of the One Thousand and one Nights.  By ending each night’s story on a cliffhanger, Scheherazade ensured that the Persian King wanted to keep her alive to hear the end of the story the next night, and managed to escape the fate of 1000 women before her and become Queen!  Composer Rimsky-Korsakov paints glorious pictures of the sea and Sinbad’s ship, princes and princesses, a festival at Baghdad, and a shipwreck.  Listen out for the lovely violin solo representing Scheherazade herself.

Viv McLean

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