Havant Chamber Orchestra’s first concert of this season is a delightful
mix of the romantic, the classical and the modern!
William Mathias was a Welsh composer who died in 1992. His violin
concerto was played at the BBC Proms this summer and HCO will perform his Dance
Variations, written in the mid-1970s. Our sister orchestra, the Havant
Symphony Orchestra, have performed a couple of works by Mathias in the past
– his early Dance Overture and his Sinfonietta – and enjoyed them
very much. Dance Variations will be a completely new work for HCO,
though. Always an exciting prospect!
HCO are joined by cellist Philip Handy to play the cello concerto by
Schumann. Philip is based in the New Forest and is building a great
reputation locally. The concerto is a concise and charming example of the
romantic repertoire, having a rather unusual structure for a concerto of this
period, but magnificently showing off the cello’s wonderful sonority.
The concert concludes with Beethoven’s second Symphony – written
at a time when he was becoming increasingly deaf and having severe stomach
problems (one critic has claimed that the last movement begins with a belch and
a groan of pain!). At its premier in Vienna in 1803 it was not
particularly well received but it has since become an enduring favourite.
The BBC Proms series this summer included all the Beethoven symphonies except
this one, so now is your chance to hear it!