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Newsletter for March 2023

This is an edited version of the Havant Orchestras newsletter which is e-mailed in PDF form to players and Friends of the Orchestras (or posted in printed form for those who do not have e-mail).

The Havant Orchestras

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

March 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to the latest issue of the HADOS Newsletter

Our next concert will be by HSO on Sunday March 26th at 2.30pm at Oaklands.  Don’t miss Florian Mitrea playing the Grieg Piano Concerto!

Sunday 26th March’s Programme

2.30pm Concert starts
Overture ‘Poet and Peasant’ von Suppé
Piano Concerto in A minor Grieg
 Soloist: Florian Mitrea 
    Interval – 20 minutes
Karelia Suite Sibelius
Symphony No 2 Borodin
4.30pm (approx) Concert ends— we wish you a safe journey home

Music in this concert

Music Director Jonathan Butcher and Bursary Holder James Thomas tell us about some of the music they’ll be conducting:

I’m very excited to be preparing Borodin’s 2nd Symphony with the HSO, for you to hear in a week’s time.  It’s a first for me and I am enjoying every moment of our rehearsals. 

Borodin’s B minor Symphony is arguably his most important large scale work and although you all probably know and, I suspect, love his Overture and Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor, this symphonic work doesn’t disappoint.  Actually, I’m a little embarrassed that I haven’t conducted it before. 

Borodin was, by trade, a Scientist, which makes the composition of this symphony all the more astonishing.

Although he revised the work a little, to thin out what he felt was rather heavy brass writing, he was, in fact, encouraged to ‘leave well alone’ by Liszt, with whom he played the symphony through in a four-hand arrangement. 

The symphony is in the standard four movement form, with an unusual Scherzo in 1/1 time, ’though you will barely notice.  It’s fast! 

There is a sort of dramatic story attached to the symphony, which I am sure will be mentioned in our excellent programme notes.  However, it’s really just a very well constructed work, packed with strong rhythms and great melodies.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  Jonathan Butcher

The Karelia Suite is one of the better known examples of Sibelius’ nationalistic composing style, depicting three folk and rustic inspired scenes.  The eastern Finnish provence of Karelia is where a young Sibelius spent a great deal of time studying folk music and being inspired by the natural beauty of the surroundings.  This area of Finland has inspired many artists and writers over the years with authors such as Tolkien visiting the area which later given influence in writing the beautiful middle earth setting for Lord of the Rings.

The suite is split into three movements, each with its own characteristics.  The Intermezzo has a folk melody combined with a rousing patriotism.  It features the horns at the start and beginning, reflective of the call to hunt.  The middle Ballade movement is minimalistic in sound, using old folk tunes provided mainly in the winds to produce a sense of enchantment.  There are moments of charm and grace to give light relief to the sweeping string sections.  The final movement, Alla Marcia is probably the most well known of the entire suite, boasting a likeable melody in an easy two feel.  Although march like in principle, Sibelius allows the two separate melodies to gather momentum, building in both instrumentation and volume before finishing in a triumphant finale.

It has been most enjoyable to rehearse the suite with the orchestra this term and to really produce moments of quality with the orchestra in my second term as Bursary Conductor.  I must once again thank Jonathan Butcher for his mentorship and I am extremely excited to conduct the Karelia Suite in concert.  James Thomas

Listening recommendations

CDs sourced by Gordon Egerton (HCO clarinet)

Suppé - Poet and Peasant overture 
CD: Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Charles Dutoit (c/w other Suppe overtures). Decca 4144082 £10.20.
Video:  For amusement try Micky Mouse’s version!

Grieg - Piano Concerto 
Howard Shelley (pianist and conductor), Orchestra of Opera North (c/w Schumann Piano Concerto and Saint-Saens Piano Concerto no.2). Chandos CHAN10509 £14.00.
Video:  Of course there’s:
But for a serious version try this one with soloist Benjamin Grosvenor.  It’s the Bergen Philharmonic so you may recognise the leader of the orchestra: it’s Melina Mandozzi who was a soloist with us in July 2022!

Sibelius - Karelia Suite 
  Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Petri Sakari (c/w Lemminkainen Suite and Finlandia). Naxos 8554265 £10.00.
Video:  Surely hard to beat Paavo Järvi:

Borodin - Symphony no.2 
  Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, Jose Serebrier (c/w Symphonies nos. 1 & 3). ASV CDDCA 706 £12.75.
Video:  Here’s the Royal Concertgebouw with a conductor I hadn’t come across, Karel Mark Chichon :


At our concert on March 26th you’ll notice a couple of occasions on which the principal cello gets a solo.  It’s more common for the leader of the orchestra (principal first violin, often referred to outside the UK as ‘concertmaster’) to have this sort of solo but occasionally a composer will use the sound of a solo cello, solo viola (eg Shostakovich Symphony no. 5) or solo double bass (eg Mahler Symphony no. 1) to convey their intentions at a particular point in the music. 

For some insight into how this works for the principal cello I recommend to you a recent blog post by American cellist Janet Horvath which you can read at:

Peter and Sandra Craddock Fund

We are grateful for all donations to HADOS.  We put these into the Peter and Sandra Craddock Fund and the committee decides how to use this money.

For the March 26th concert the Fund will be used to cover the soloist fee.

We’ve invited Florian Mitrea to play the Grieg as it is a very popular concerto and we hope it will attract an audience.  The set of parts for this we already have in our library so the main cost of playing this piece will be that of the soloist’s fee. 

Concert Report

Our last concert was by Havant Chamber Orchestra at Holy Trinity Church, Fareham in February.

We were delighted to welcome French horn player Ben Goldscheider and publicity referencing his status as a BBC Young Musician finalist seemed to have a last minute beneficial effect on audience numbers—just 5 days before the concert we had sold only 39 tickets but the eventual audience was 94 so a very pleasing result.

Of course a top soloist is not cheap and the orchestra required in order to put on this programme meant there were a few expenses to be paid.

So the overall costs were a sizeable— £2900

Whilst the income totalled only—  £1245

Overall a loss of—  £1600

However, we had planned to use the Peter and Sandra Craddock fund to cover Ben’s fee, and the music for the Schumann and Strauss pieces have been added to our library for future hiring out so if we remove those from the equation the loss is just over £1000.

The audience of 94 was a big improvement on our previous few HCO concerts so we hope that we can continue to improve our publicity in Fareham.  Word of mouth is often the best way so if you play in either orchestra, please do encourage friends, family, colleagues and pupils to come along!

Notes from the committee

The HADOS committee of (currently) 9 people meets on a regular basis to ensure smooth running of our concerts but also to discuss and decide on more general matters.

Planning for our 2023-4 season is well underway with a view to announcing the whole season in May.  We always try to balance taking the professional advice of our MDs with committee members’ knowledge of what is practical for our orchestras to play and what we think our local audiences would like to hear.

Looking forward to the season after that —2024/25— which we will start planning this autumn, do let us know if there’s anything in particular you would like to play or hear.  We can’t promise anything but will take all suggestions into consideration!

If you are interested to know what we have in our own library, you can see the catalogue at

If you are interested to see whether we have played something before, you can see a list at

Both of these web pages are available to everyone without logging in.  Players can ask us for login details and see complete lists of all our performances.

Stella Scott

Cathy Mathews

We are sad to announce that Cathy has had to resign as leader of HSO due to ill health.  Cathy was appointed leader in 2000 and has shown enormous commitment to the orchestra over these many years.  We have been most fortunate to have the support of Graham Frewer as Deputy Leader.  The committee will now need to carefully consider all options and no decisions about how to move forward have yet been taken.

We wish Cathy the very best for what we hope will be a speedy recovery.

A visit to Sibelius country

Sibelius Memorial 2

A supporter of the orchestras recently started coming along to listen to some of our HSO rehearsals on Friday evenings.

He is enjoying hearing us work on the Karelia Suite and shared with me some photos of his trip a few years ago to the Sibelius monument in Helsinki.  It looks like a fascinating structure so I thought you might like to see the photos!

Thank you to Mike Saunders for permission to share these with you.

Do you have photos or a memory of a music-related visit?  Share them with us by sending to for inclusion in a future newsletter.

Sibelius Memorial 1

Exploring Beethoven

Robin Browning

Our next concert gives us chance to try out something a little different!

HCO Musical Director Robin Browning will present an ‘exploration’ of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony with orchestral excerpts.  This will then be followed by a full performance of the Symphony.

Come along and find out everything you always wanted to know about Beethoven’s Pastoral!

Tickets are available from
or call the Tickets Secretary on 01489 877497


Saturday 20th May 2023, 7.30pm

Holy Trinity Church, Fareham

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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