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John Button reviews Gareth Farr's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (excerpt) - REVIEW


Review Publication year: 2014


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[T]he Farr work left the famous Respighi works in the dust. Based on just one listen I have no doubt that this marvellously inventive piano concerto is bound to develop an international life all its own. Rarely have I heard a new piece in which I felt we got the absolute essence of the composer, but this was such a piece. Farr has stated that the piano concertos of Prokofiev, Bartok, Ravel and Shostakovich were long-term favourites and each of these composers' influences this new concerto of delights. With marvellously free piano writing surrounded by orchestral sounds that conjure up memories of Prokofiev ballets, Ravel's L' Enfant et les Sortileges and even the Bartok First Piano Concerto, the ear was tickled bar after bar. But this is no mere pastiche piece; the distinctive Farr sound was always there and one could sense Farr the puppet- master hovering over the music, pulling the strings and enjoying every second. With some wonderful piano playing from Tony Lee and superbly involved orchestral support - titillating percussion sounds still resonate - this was utterly special.

The full review can be read here.