Review: Havant Chamber Orchestra at Ferneham Hall, Fareham

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Those lucky enough to have been at the Ferneham Hall on Sunday night were treated to a fine performance of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.

It was brought to life by brilliant soloist Craig Ogden, his agile and rhythmically incisive playing complemented by a deftly detailed orchestral accompaniment.

There were many striking moments with this composer’s ear for sparkling or meditative woodwind writing which included, of course, the celebrated cor anglais solo which opens the Adagio.

There was also equally impressive playing by the strings, perhaps, most noticeably, from the generally unsung double basses who play a crucial, structural role in this work.

The concerto was book-ended by two works, Beethoven’s Leonora Overture No.1 and Brahms’ Serenade No.1. Both suffered occasionally from metrical imprecision, especially in the slower sections, and the overture in particular took some time to settle. However, the ensemble playing was generally tight in the Serenade and its lighter scoring, pleasantly at odds with Brahms’ more mature, denser sound, encouraged delicacy from all the sections. Here again, the winds have something of a starring role which they grasped with relish, but there were also enthusiastic and precise contributions from others, not least, the violas.

A most enjoyable concert by the Chamber Orchestra.