REVIEW: Havant Chamber Orchestra, Ferneham Hall, Fareham

The Albany Piano Trio
The Albany Piano Trio

Club Scene with Sam Cherry

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AN enterprising piece of programming was tarnished by a failure to provide adequate lighting.

The Havant Chamber Orchestra’s musical director, Robin Browning, engaged the Albany Piano Trio as soloists in Beethoven’s concerto for piano, violin and cello, but the two string soloists, positioned on extra staging at the front, were left in shadow.

They seemed inclined to compensate by forcing their tone to achieve soloistic assertiveness in the first movement especially. They did find a sense of release (relief?) in the finale but only pianist Pippa Harrison showed natural expressiveness throughout.

The conductor has declared his empathy with the music of Sibelius, and it showed in a sharply detailed performance of the Finn’s Pelleas et Melisande suite.

He was happy to point up the astringency of the writing for cor anglais, and the balance of woodwind against strings in Melisande At Her Spinning Wheel was sharply defined before the Entr’acte led potently into the final elegy.

Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro overture began the concert and Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony ended it – both in cheerful, perky fashion.