*
banner

Owen Farr recital

Regent Hall Brass Arts Festival
Regent Hall
London
Friday 9th October

Owen Farr’s extraordinary talent is immensely entertaining. 

So whilst a two-hour tenor horn recital on a busy Friday afternoon in central London might not seem like the most enticing prospect, a rare opportunity to listen to him perform certainly is. 

International

An international audience (visitors from Canada, Norway and the Netherlands claimed seats), were also drawn in by Youtube hits of Mendelssohn’s ‘Violin’ and Haydn’s ‘Cello’ concerti.

We were presented with a programme in two halves.

Stupendous

First - traditional solos commencing with a stupendous rendition of ‘Napoli’. Even those who know the ‘natural’ range and capability of a brass instrument would have been amazed how ‘Farr’ he can take things.

It led into an enjoyable historical presentation of the soloists of Sousa’s great band, as concert hall became lecture theatre. Entertaining, engaging and hugely informative, we learned of Clarke, Mantia, Pryor, Bellstedt and Kryl, whilst being treated to a performance of each of their greatest solo works. 

This was Farr as the ultimate exponent of his craft - a player Sousa himself would have been eager to sign. It was astonishing playing: Even within the context of the lecture presentation, his showboating could only be received merely as a form of modest demonstration. 

Spinning

‘Blue Bells of Scotland' was the pick - with more leaps between extreme register than could be imagined physically possible. 

At one stage, there was even nod to trumpet virtuoso Allen Vizzutti - borrowing the trademark spinning trick and applying it to a tenor horn ‘waggle’ midway through an extended triple tonguing passage!

New and recent

The second half was a showcase of new and recent repertoire - some taken from his acclaimed CD recording ‘A New Dawn’, such as ‘Dragon Dances’, by Andrew Baker. 

A lyrical interlude in David Harrington’s warming ‘Romance’ followed, before his virtuosic accompanist Chris Williams turned composer, to introduce his own ‘Elegy - In memory of Mervyn Burtch’, and soloist, in his own adaptation of Gershwin’s ‘Piano Concerto No.2 - Mvt II’, with Farr’s horn taking on the original trumpet and orchestral accompaniment. 

Nimble

After this tender central section, Williams again turned soloist in Billy Mayerl’s aptly named ‘The Nimble Fingered Gentleman’ - a performance every bit as fizzingly brilliant as any by his Welsh compatriot.

To conclude a highly entertaining afternoon they combined to perform Paul Sharman’s ‘You Love Me’, in a performance dedicated to the memory of Owen Farr’s grandfather. 

Nick Walkley

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    



Contest: Whit Friday March Contests

Friday 24 May • Saddleworth & Tameside OL3


Boarshurst Silver Band - Canning City Brass and Boarshurst Silver Band

Sunday 26 May • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane, OL3 7EW OL3 7EW


Boarshurst Silver Band - Sunday Brass Concert - Thurlston Band

Sunday 2 June • Boarshurst Band Club, Greenbridge Lane OL3 7EW


PEMBERTON OLD WIGAN DW BRASS BANDS - Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra

Friday 7 June • St. Michaels Church. Duke street. Wigan WN1 2BJ


Bellshill Salvation Army Band - Guest Soloist Tom Hutchinson (The Cory Band)

Saturday 8 June • Uddington Old Parish Church, Old Glasgow Road Uddington. G71 7HF


Olney Brass

May 23 • Friendly & ambitious 2nd section L&SC area brass band, based in Newport Pagnell (near Milton Keynes) currently seeking a SOLO CORNET player to complete our line-up. We have a good variety of contests, concerts & community events throughout the year.


Olney Brass

May 23 • Friendly & ambitious 2nd section L&SC area brass band, based in Newport Pagnell (near Milton Keynes) currently seeking a REPIANO CORNET player to complete our line-up. We have a good variety of contests, concerts & community events throughout the year.


Olney Brass

May 23 • Friendly & ambitious 2nd section L&SC area brass band, based in Newport Pagnell (near Milton Keynes) currently seeking a Eb BASS player to complete our line-up. We have a good variety of contests, concerts & community events throughout the year.


Ian Holmes

BA (hons), PGDip (RCM), ARCM, ALCM
Conductor, piano accompanist and educator


               

 © 2024 4barsrest.com Ltd