Robin Browning on “Exploring Beethoven” with the Havant Chamber Orchestra

On Saturday 20 May Robin Browning is conducting a Beethoven-themed concert with the Havant Chamber Orchestra at Holy Trinity Church, Fareham. The orchestra will be playing the Coriolan Overture and Symphony No. 6 in F, Pastoral. He explains why this is a concert not to be missed.

“I love the Coriolan Overture – it’s a great opener and quite short, leaving time for the larger work to follow.”

“This is not a new format, but it’s a good one. Audiences have been always interested in hearing these pieces, but they demand more these days: they want to be guided into the music. No matter that so much information is readily available these days and that people can do their own research at home: they still are interested in understanding the context and then immediately hearing the works in question.

“The way I am going to tackle this is that I’ll sit at the piano, play an extract from Pastoral, and then provide harmonic pointers. In the case of the Pastoral, it’s important to appreciate the changes of harmony and to see how the rhythm builds over its five movements. It’s also interesting to know how it relates to the other works of this mid-period of Beethoven’s life – a period of such huge output.

“Although I will have my back to the audience when the piece is being played, I can always sense that they react differently once they’ve “got” the musical context.

“This approach is all about making classical music more accessible and therefore more enjoyable to audiences.”

Image credit: Luiz Ciafrino

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