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.