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Newsletter for October 2016

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

October 2016 Newsletter

From the Chairman …

Welcome to the new season of the Havant Orchestras!

Havant Symphony Orchestra got things off to a fine start a couple of weeks ago with the very enjoyable pre-season “Popular Classics” concert at Hayling Island Community Centre, selected and conducted by last year’s Bob Harding bursary holder Joseph Beckhelling, with piano soloist Jinah Shim playing Rachmaninov’s famous Piano Concerto No. 2.  Joe had selected a challenging programme (especially Sibelius Symphony No. 2) given the very limited rehearsal time, but succeeded in using the time well and producing a memorable performance with HSO.  We enjoyed working with Joe over the last season and were very impressed with his growing skills in orchestral conducting, especially in this final Hayling concert.  We wish him every success in his future musical endeavours.

This Saturday’s concert by Havant Chamber Orchestra at Ferneham Hall opens with a less familiar work, the Serenade for 13 wind instruments by Richard Strauss.  This beautiful serenade reflects the influence of Mendelssohn and Mozart on the young composer.

We are then looking forward to the return of talented young violinist Savitri Grier with Havant Chamber Orchestra to play Bruch’s hugely popular first Violin Concerto.

Finally, we have Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, with its lively dance-like melodies and its haunting slow movement.  HCO’s continuing exploration of Beethoven will continue later in the season with an all-Beethoven concert next May.

Jonathan Scott     Tel: 023 8026 1372

Saturday 15th October’s Programme

at Ferneham Hall, Fareham

Savitri Grier

Robin Browning

6.30 Pre-concert talk in the auditorium by Richard Moore
7.00 Pre-concert interlude in the Octagon Lounge
7.20 Take your seats in the auditorium
7.30 The Concert
conducted by Robin Browning.
Serenade in E flat major, Op. 7 Richard Strauss
Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor 
 Soloist: Savitri Grier
    Interval – 20 minutes
Symphony No. 7 in A major Beethoven
9.30 (approx) End of Concert
We wish you a safe journey home.

Pre-concert Talk at 6.30pm in the auditorium

Richard Moore will be talking about the Richard Strauss Wind Serenade.

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.

Pre-concert Interlude at 7.00pm in the Octagon Lounge

The pre-concert interlude in the Octagon Lounge will be given by junior pupils of singing teacher Fiona Morris from Portsmouth High School.

Notes from the conductor…

As autumn approaches, thoughts turn to all the typical seasonal changes, not least – around now – the colouring of the leaves and chill in the air.  As composers go, I often associate their works, their voice if you like, with colours, languages and often with seasons.  I suppose that if one were to choose an obviously “autumnal” composer, then Elgar springs readily to mind.  But I also find something beautifully autumnal about Richard Strauss’ music, too.

It's especially clear in those late works like the Oboe Concerto (which HCO brings to you next year), the Four Last Songs and so on.  But I find large traces of it even in earlier pieces, like the op 7 Wind Serenade which kicks off our autumn concert this October.  I’m always drawn to this piece, unfailingly stunned by its formal perfection, qualities of contrast, and always this tiny thread of melancholy running through it – quite a lot like Elgar.  It’s a peculiar skill: being able to make (predominantly) major key music sound ever so slightly melancholic.  And, of course, it gives our wonderful wind section a great chance to shine, too.

In her HCO debut recently, soloist Savitri Grier certainly shined.  She always does.  Many members of both orchestra and audience clamoured to invite her back, so we’ve done just that.  The Bruch 1st concerto is one of those pieces that so many people love, and know well.  The danger is that people often dismiss it as being an old warhorse, or the composer as being a one-trick pony (far from the truth), sadly overlooking the fact that it is a true masterpiece.  Just look at how brilliantly it's constructed: short, elegant, with just the right elements of poetry and virtuosity.  I never know why people are so quick to dislike genuinely fabulous pieces of music.  After all, if people are tired of it, then do bear in mind that each and every performance is different.  And this one surely will be dazzling, too.

Beethoven 7th is often people’s favourite of the nine.  I wonder if it is mine.  I know it used to be, but that was before I’d done my first 9th, deeply explored the 6th or fallen for the charms of the 4th.  We all have our favourite Beethoven symphony, and I think this one is right up there on most people’s lists.  Like my encounters with the other two items on this programme, one never, ever tires of it.  Wagner called it, “the apotheosis of the dance”, and I similarly see it as a masterwork of rhythm.  When you think about it, there aren’t so many tunes in it.  Yet there are a great many explorations of rhythm, examinations of rhythmical motifs and developments of little fragments.  It’s like a pixelated masterpiece: stand a little too close, and you can see all the little modular elements.  But stand back, and you’re in for 35 minutes of incredible, blazing, dancelike sound.  It will certainly feel like my favourite when I conduct it, of that you can be in no doubt!

Robin Browning

CD recommendations for the works in this concert

Sourced by Gordon Egerton (Clarinet)

Strauss – Serenade in E flat, Op.7
Francoix Leleux, Paris Bastille Ensemble
(c/w Oboe Concerto and Suite in B flat, Op. 4)
Sony 8869 774 8692 (£8.00).

Bruch – Violin Concerto No.1
Julia Fischer, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, David Zinman
(c/w Dvorak Violin Concerto)
Decca 4783 544 (£11.75).

Beethoven – Symphony No.7
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Carlos Kleiber
(c/w Symphony No. 5)
DG 447 4002 (£8.50).

(Prices quoted are from the Presto Classical website).

Development suggestions

After receiving a significant legacy plus additional donations last year, the Havant Orchestras are in their strongest financial position for years, but declining audiences, especially for our Oaklands concerts, continue to be a serious concern.  We know that Oaklands is rather out of the way, and some people are put off by the fact that it is a school hall, even though it is actually an excellent venue for orchestral concerts.  Do you have any suggestions for practical ways to attract more audience or improve the experience for our current audience members while at the same time preserving our commitment to high quality music?  If so, please let us know.

One development suggestion which we have already accepted is for a concert at the new Emsworth Baptist Church.  We have scheduled a Havant Chamber Orchestra strings concert there for Saturday March 11th 2017 and we hope to see you all there!

Jonathan Scott     Tel: 023 8026 1372

Next concert

HSO Concert at Oaklands School 3rd December 2016

Other concerts
by local orchestras

Sunday 9th October, 7.30pm
Royal Marines Museum, Eastney
Solent Symphony Orchestra
‘Music for Queen and Country’

Saturday 12th November, 7.30pm
Thornden Hall, Chandlers Ford
City of Southampton Orchestra
Britten, Shostakovich, Bartók

Saturday 12th November, 7.00pm
The Anvil, Basingstoke
Basingstoke Symphony Orchestra
Fantasy Concert with popular film music

Thursday 17th November, 7.30pm
Petersfield Festival Hall
Petersfield Orchestra
Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann

Saturday 19th November, 7:30pm
New Hall, Winchester College
Winchester Symphony Orchestra
Sibelius, Dvořák, Sibelius

See the Events page on our website for information about many other orchestral concerts and other musical events in the area.

Other musical events

compiled by Geoff Porter

Thursday 27th October, 7.30pm
Portsmouth Guildhall
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Alexander Romanovsky, piano
Aleksander Markovic, conductor

Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 1
Martinu: Symphony No. 4

Saturday 29th October, 7.30pm
Portsmouth Music Club
Jemma Bausor, oboe
Kazunari Shiraiso, piano

Monday 7th November, 7.30pm
Portsmouth Guildhall
Van Kuijk Quartet
Haydn: String Quartet in B-flat,
Op. 64 No. 4 ‘Sunrise’
Debussy: String Quartet in G minor, Op.10

Thursday 10th November, 7.30pm
Portsmouth Guildhall
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Tine Thing Helseth, trumpet
Kirill Karabits, conductor

Haydn: Trumpet Concerto
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 ‘Romantic’

Saturday 12th November, 7.30pm
Portsmouth Music Club
Victoria Puttock, saxophone
Grigoris Ioannou, piano

Saturday 19th November, 7.30pm
Portsmouth Music Club
Valentina Seferinova, piano

Thursday 24th November, 7.30pm
Portsmouth Guildhall
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Ion Marin, conductor

Mahler: Symphony No. 6 ‘Tragic’

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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