Russian music of the twentieth century embraces an epic romantic cello
concerto in this final concert of the 2014-15 season by Havant Symphony
Orchestra under their principal conductor Jonathan Butcher.
In light-hearted mood, Kabalevsky’s Overture Colas Breugnon
takes a French folk tale as its inspiration. The full opera is based in
18th Century Burgundy and is the story of a love triangle involving
the sculptor, Colas, and his eventual playing of a trick on the local Duke by
creating a statue of him in full armour sitting backwards on a donkey…
I guess you had to be there, but the Overture is full of fun and jazzy rhythms
and cannot fail to entertain!
It is always exciting to welcome back to his home town the fantastic cellist
Richard Harwood. Richard has been performing concertos with the Havant
Orchestras since he was a schoolboy and still manages to fit the occasional
return visit to Waterlooville into his very busy schedule. In addition to
his solo performances, Richard has recently been on an international tour with
the Sitkovetsky Trio and is also Principal Cellist of the John Wilson
Orchestra, famous for their performances of music from the great Hollywood
musicals. On this visit he will play the dramatic and beautiful concerto
by Dvořák. This is one of the best known works for solo cello and
orchestra and shows off both the lyrical and virtuosic capabilities of the
cello to stunning effect.
The concert concludes with the Symphony No 5 by Shostakovich. This was
written in 1937 as “a Soviet artist’s creative response to
justified criticism” after the composer had experienced a period of
extreme difficulty with the Soviet authorities. The Symphony contains
many haunting melodies and uses some extra instruments to supplement the
standard orchestra – listen out for the piano, harp and celesta as well
as a large percussion section! The final climax to the work is somewhat
of an enigma – is it really a triumphant march or a parody of one?
See what you think…