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Oaklands Catholic School,
Waterlooville (Click here for directions)


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Saturday 9th July 2016  7.30
Conductors:  Jonathan Butcher and Joseph Beckhelling*

*Tragic Overture – Brahms

Piano Concerto in Eb major** – John Ireland
Soloist: Viv McLean

Symphony No 1 in D minor – Rachmaninov

** The performance of this work is very generously supported by the John Ireland Trust

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Brahms himself chose the title ‘Tragic’ for his Overture opus 81 to emphasise the turbulent nature of the music, in contrast to the more joyful music of his ‘Academic Festival’ Overture, written at around the same time.  The work does not tell a particular story but is more like a symphonic movement full of emotion – a dramatic opening to our concert.

The English composer John Ireland lived from 1879 to 1962 and would have been totally familiar with the work of Brahms although he was strongly influenced by more modern composers such as Debussy and Stravinsky.  His work has been supported and promoted since 1968 by the John Ireland Trust and we are very grateful for their support for this performance.  Our soloist, Viv McLean, returns to play with us following his superb performance of Rachmaninov’s Paganini Rhapsody in December 2014 and we are delighted to welcome him back!

Speaking of Rachmaninov, our concert ends with the great Russian’s first Symphony.  Written in 1895, the Symphony’s premiere was under-rehearsed and a complete disaster – there were suggestions that the conductor, Glazunov, was drunk.  This led to Rachmaninov declining into a serious depression from which he recovered only after having therapy from a hypnotist.  It was not performed again in his lifetime and only after the score was reconstructed from a set of parts was it heard again in Moscow in 1945.  Its first performance in England was not until 1964 – two years after the founding of Havant Symphony Orchestra!

Viv McLean

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