Conductor Peter Craddock has expressed a fear that advancing years are diminishing his ability to generate energy from an orchestra. On this evidence, he can stop worrying.
The opening concert of his Havant Orchestras’ 50th season began with a busy programme played by the HCO with both a high level of technical precision and an impressive response to a range of musical demands.
Even when sitting to conduct Mozart’s Symphony No 40, Mr Craddock succeeded in generating a properly taut, dramatic performance, with the strings compellingly bearing the weight of the argument.
Soloist Anna-Liisa Bezrodny also seemed happy with the orchestral contribution to Haydn’s Violin Concerto in C. She herself showed a rare ability to spin a magically soft, long, seamless line in the slow movement before capturing the dance-like character of the finale.
The slow section of J C Bach’s Lucio Silla overture featured a most eloquent oboe solo – matched by the same player and the flautist in Faure’s Pavane.
And the strings caught the contrasting characteristics of Britten’s Simple Symphony well, most impressively in the Saraband.