Havant Chamber Orchestra at Ferneham Hall, Fareham

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The Havant Chamber Orchestra brought an imaginative programme to a large and enthusiastic audience at the Ferneham Hall.

In Ravel’s le Tombeau de Couperin, conductor Peter Craddock’s perfectly chosen tempi were combined with crisply articulated phrasing.

Manuel de Falla’s The Three Cornered Hat is perhaps more symphony orchestra than chamber orchestra territory, and there were times when I missed the weight of a full and sonorous string section. But this performance was strongly characterised, combining charaterful melodies and rhythmic bite to great effect.

Peter Rhodes was an excellent soloist in Mozart’s F major Piano Concerto, articulating the subtle phrasing and prolific melodies.

After the interval Samuel Draper took over the baton in Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony. Perhaps harder timpani sticks and the division of first and violins to left and right might have brought a more authentic classical sound, but there was some distinguished playing with plenty of character.