Concert 30 June, Fawley


Last Saturday evening Marchwood Orchestra gave their last performance before becoming the ‘Solent Concert Orchestra’ in the beautiful setting of All Saints Church, Fawley. The concert included works by Rachmaninov, Borodin, Verdi and Elgar.

The appreciative audience included the orchestra’s loyal patron The Right Honourable Julian Lewis MP who has been a stalwart supporter over the years and, hopefully, will continue to be so.

The programme started with Alexander Borodin’s ‘In the Steppes of Central Asia’ with the orchestra skilfully depicting a caravan of merchants journeying across the vast expanses of the steppe and fading into the distance. This was followed by a virtuoso performance of Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No.1in A minor by conductor and director of music Simon Wilkins who had passed the baton temporarily to bass clarinettist Dan Browning. This was indeed a musical treat, even breathtaking at times, as Simon demonstrated his undoubted capabilities. As an encore he gave a beautiful rendition of ‘The Swan’ accompanied by cellist Chris Cole on the piano.  

After the interval the concert continued with Verdi’s overture ‘La Forza del Destino’ part of which features in a TV advert for a well-known lager! This was followed by three of Rachmaninov’s ‘Nocturnes’ transcribed especially for the orchestra by Dan Browning.

The final part of the programme consisted of items from Edward Elgar’s ‘Nursery Suite’. The lilting, gentle melodies of the ‘Aubade’ contrasting nicely with ‘The Wagon Passes’ bringing the audience back to the opening theme of the evening, namely, Borodin’s musical portrayal of the caravan moving across the desert.  

The orchestra finished with Tony Kitcherside’s lively ‘Lymington Quay’, not entirely inappropriate for the new Solent Concert Orchestra which will make its debut on Saturday 14th October at St. Winfrid’s Church, Totton where the theme will be ‘Stage and Screen’.  H.M.