Wednesday, March 07, 2018

A Happy Birthday update on Gareth Farr

To my surprise, it's about ten years since I last mentioned Gareth Farr, the NZ composer, on this blog. Very remiss. 
I happened to hear an interview (more like a friendly discussion) with him on the Concert programme today. Apparently he turned 50 recently - except that his birthday is on the 29th February, so he's strictly speaking only twelve and a half. He made the comment that in a couple of years (I think it was) he'll be thirteen. 'Gareth Farr the teenager!' he cried. 
Farr's relatively new Cello Concerto (from May 2017) was mentioned, and I was pleased - and surprised - to see a video of the piece's premiere performance online at the Publisher's website.  I'm listening to it as I write, and after its wonderful, slow, eerie opening - repeated three times - it moves into Farr's usual energetic approach, as well as more lyrical sections. And of course there's lots of percussion. 
S├ębastien Hurtaud is the soloist. His facial expressions while playing remind of those of Stjepan Hauser, who's one half of 2Cellos. Hurtaud isn't quite so manic though...which is probably a good thing!