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Robin Browning, the conductor, was centre stage in every sense of the word

Music in Portsmouth, Stuart Reed

“… . this chamber orchestra had no problem delighting the whole audience with its high standard of musicianship.  Their first offering was Schubert’s Overture in the Italian Style.  This was partly influenced by that opera music composer and amateur chef Gioacchino Rossini.  The HCO’s joyful treatment created a sunny, vibrant atmosphere bringing with it images of Tuscan landscapes, jolly fiestas, good food and wine.”…

“Next on stage was Richard Uttley playing Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor.  His rendition was flawless.  The piano has its moments of being really up front and the soloist carried that off with boldness.  But it also blended harmoniously with the whole orchestra when required.  It takes real concentration for thirty-eight musicians to play quietly enough not drown out the solo instrument in the quieter passages.  But here, the experience and self-discipline of the soloist, players and conductor paid off handsomely. After the interval came the Beethoven.  His Third Symphony is a massive work.  Several large passages are repeated, making the whole thing nearly an hour long.  But there was so much great stuff to hear and see on stage that the time just flew by.”

“Robin Browning, the conductor, was centre stage in every sense of the word.  His flowing movements were a joy to watch.  Slashing his baton like a sabre one minute and jabbing it like an epee the next, his body language exuded authority and sensitivity.  He glanced directly at every section or soloist to bring them in at precisely the right moment.  Gestures from his left hand summoned up more sound or indicated tender softness.  It was stylish [conducting] indeed.  No wonder Classic FM’s John Suchet speaks so highly of him.”…

” Top marks all round”.
The concert

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Robin Browning
Under the direction of Robin Browning the orchestra was on top form

Music in Portsmouth, Stuart Reed

My post-concert thought was when next are we to hear Robin Browning conduct in Oxford?

Oxford Daily Info, Andrew Bell

The Oxford University Orchestra’s termly concerts are always fun and usually challenging. The challenge on Saturday was manifest: the unusual programming of Debussy’s La Mer, probably the most important musical work of French Impressionism and which introduced non-functional harmony to orchestral music, with Bruckner’s 7th Symphony, one of his massive cathedrals of sound.

Havant Chamber Orchestra's concert at Ferneham Hall, Fareham on Sat 15 May

Portsmouth News, Mike Allen

Robin Browning is an excellent director and maintained superb ensemble throughout the evening

Portsmouth News, Peter Rhodes

THE Havant Chamber Orchestra were on fine form on Saturday as they treated us first to Mozart’s lively Overture, The Impresario, followed by a selection from the incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, showcasing the prodigious talents of the 16-year-old Mendelssohn. There was, in particular, much excellent wind playing on display, especially in the delightful Nocturne, and the strings came into their own in the lively Scherzo. Robin Browning is an excellent director and maintained superb ensemble throughout the evening, nowhere more so than in the increasingly elaborate developments which form the core material of the final movement of Haydn’s Symphony No 99 which ended the evening.

But it was the central work in the concert, Beethoven’s ground breaking Piano Concerto No. 4, which was undoubtedly the highlight. The Ferneham Hall has a unforgiving acoustic and the Yamaha piano has lost some of its original depth of sound, yet the orchestra played with great precision and the wonderful soloist, Cordelia Williams, managed to wring every drop of warmth out of the piano. She was, by turns, virtuosic in the outer movements, especially their cadenzas, and lyrical in the haunting slow movement. A most enjoyable evening throughout.

A fine balance between discipline and expressiveness

Mike Allen, Portsmouth News
Beethoven Egmont, Hummel Trumpet Concerto, Mendelssohn Symphony No 3 Scottish
Havant Chamber Orchestra, Ferneham Hall, Fareham, Hampshire

Dare I say it? Well, why not? The Havant Chamber Orchestra’s performance of Mendelssohn’s Scottish symphony was more heart-warming and uplifting than the London Symphony Orchestra’s at Portsmouth Guildhall in March.

Masterly conducting at Ferneham Hall

Mike Allen, Portsmouth News

Beethoven Pastoral Symphony
Havant Chamber Orchestra, Ferneham Hall, Fareham, Hampshire

Beethoven’s sixth symphony, the Pastoral, was also conducted in masterly style by Robin Browning. This work can seem to go on forever, but in his hands it pulsed with life. Never seeming to rush, Browning allowed time for affectionate phrasing while keeping the music moving purposefully.  His masterful conducting ensured character and clarity were maintained through precise balancing.

Held the audience on the edge of their seats

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Brahms Serenade No 1, Mozart Clarinet Concerto (soloist Nicholas Cox), Pärt Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten
Milton Keynes City Orchestra, The Venue, Walton High
Milton Keynes City Orchestra introduced new talent to Milton Keynes on Friday night with their Bold and New performance at The Venue, Walton High […] The finale of the evening was a rarely played Brahms Serenade in six movements that held the audience on the edge of their seats […]

A performance of great freshness and warmth

Petersfield Post, Ann Pinhey
Dvorak Symphonic Variations, Vaughan Williams Symphony No 5 in D
Petersfield Orchestra, Petersfield Festival Hall

Robin Browning conducted a performance of great freshness and warmth which displayed Dvorak’s mastery of the orchestra to the full. […] [He] built the great climaxes with care and purpose. Phrases and tempi were moulded affectionately, always sounding spontaneous.

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09/08/2020