Havant Chamber Orchestra

Some of the performers in Circus Wonderland

Wickham circus to celebrate English roots with fiery jugglers and clown double acts

Havant Chamber Orchestra's opening concert of their 2010/11 season at Ferneham Hall was unlikely to frighten the horses because the programme was more mainstream than many of conductor Peter Craddock's.

Mark Bebbington was the soloist in an account of Mozart's 22nd Piano Concerto characterised by a compelling melodic line, great delicacy and a full sense of the grandeur of Mozart's musical architecture.

His communication with conductor and orchestra contributed greatly to a high quality performance.

Schubert's 3rd Symphony, written when he was only 18, showed considerable skill for one so young.

A polished performance brought notable contributions from the principal players, but this 18-year-old clearly had no desire to overturn the established Germanic order bequeathed to him and Beethoven by Mozart and Haydn.

That would take others such as Dvork, a tender performance of whose Czech Suite began the evening.

He introduced the rhythms and inflexions of Czech music to audiences in thrall to the Germanic and made them acceptable, thus paving the way for other nationalist composers such as Jancek, Bartok and Kodly.

Conductor and orchestra handled the cross rhythms of the closing Furiant superbly, a good start maintained right through to the fizzing presto vivace final movement of the Schubert.