The members of Havant Symphony Orchestra are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their soloist for their imminent concert. So far they have rehearsed Finzi’s ‘Cello Concerto on their own. The internationally renowned ‘cellist, Raphael Wallfisch, will play Gerald Finzi’s concerto for the instrument on the evening of Saturday 7 July at Oaklands School, Waterlooville. He is due to arrive for a practice with the full ensemble the evening before.
Keenest to meet Raphael are husband and wife team, musicians Pat and Liz Caines. When she was a girl violinist Liz played with Raphael’s father, Peter Wallfisch, in Leicester County Symphony Orchestra. Peter performed Mozart’s Piano concerto No 9 with this orchestra. Peter’s wife, Anita, was a brilliant ‘cellist and Auschwitz survivor, who went on to co-found the English Chamber Orchestra.
More recently, ‘cellist Pat Caines and Liz played under the baton of Simon Wallfish. This was with the London Charity Orchestra at St Giles, Cripplegate. Simon, who is a conductor and a ‘cellist, is the son of Raphael. Having met both his father and his son, Pat and Liz Caines are looking forward to meeting Raphael himself.
Raphael has recorded the Finzi and performed it many times. Sources close to the HSO conductor, Jonathan Butcher, reveal that Raphael knows the work inside out. Jonathan Butcher knows what he’s doing too. But the orchestral players will have to be on their toes to keep abreast of the constantly varying time signatures; that is to say the unpredictable numbers of notes to the bar which is a feature of the work.
Also on the repertoire for the evening is Borodin’s exciting Overture to the opera, Prince Igor. The plot is all about a turf war. It comes from an ancient Russian epic and centres around Prince Igor Svayatoslavich who fought the wild Polovtsian tribes invading his country many years ago.
Borodin died before he finished the work but it was edited and completed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov. Up and coming conductor Richard Miller will conduct the piece.
Tchaikovsky’s passionate Symphony No 4 is on the bill too. Jonathan Butcher will conduct this terrific item which is chock full of Russian fervour. The third movement is a brisk pizzicato scherzo which calls for the fiddle, viola, ‘cello and bass players to put down their bows and pluck the strings. This passage is marked “ostinato” which in Italian means stubborn but in musical terms merely means that key phrases are repeated several times.
A fiery, quick tempo finale rounds the whole great work off.
This evening promises to be a great show. Without doubt, concert-goers will be sorry when it’s over.
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