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Farrell Displays Showmanship in Guitar Repertory

[Note: Click on highlighted song titles below to hear MP3 sound samples. Additional sound clips appear on the CD page.]

The Telegraph - Dixon, IL

Dixon Theatre hosts Community Concert

My first thought as Terrence Farrell walked to the center stage to begin his performance was one of doubt and wonder: is this handsome athletic man, dressed in black tux and cowboy boots a serious concert artist?

I needn't have worried. Farrell immediately engaged the audience, giving a humorous spin on what we were to hear.

His rendition of the "Bullfight Flamenco" (the bull lost) left little doubt about the rest of the evening.

The delight of Farrell's showmanship was carefully crafted by stories concerning the pieces to be performed and the particular periods of styles they represented. From Johann Sebastian Bach to Mason Williams ["Classical Gas"], we were treated to every period and style of the guitar repertory.

If you came into this concert without any knowledge of the classic guitar and its genre, you left with a pretty fine grasp and appreciation of Farrell's "most intimate of all the instruments".

There were several outstanding pieces in the first half of the concert. Among them, Franz Liszt's "Liebestraum" ("Dream of Love") and Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria." Farrell's rendition of the "Ave" was a constant arpeggio played by two fingers while carrying on the melody with hauntingly beautiful singing strings. This was followed by a Suite of Gershwin tunes. The favorite of mine was Farrell's rendition of "Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess" opera ... as beautifully performed as I have ever heard.

Mr. Farrell's rather droll story about J.S. Bach's wife wrapping the children's lunches in music manuscript, and thus, their teacher was always able to recognize the "Bach's lunches" ... lest you felt sorry for Mrs. Bach having 21 children ... Mr. Farrell failed to mention that there were two Mrs. Bachs. Johann's first wife bore 11 children before departing the world. (Shame on you Terrence.)

It was pretty obvious that the second half of the concert was music written for guitar. Farrell's control of technique became more relaxed and certainly showcased his great musicianship. Each composition led to greater heights and I began to wonder if Farrell would crash before he was finished. His own well-crafted compositions exhibited his talent as a major composer for the guitar.

The perfect evening came to a close with a standing ovation and an encore of breathtaking beauty, a guitarist showcase, "Malaguena".

The Dixon Theatre is fabulous and a perfect setting for any performance, but especially for the intimacy of Terrence Farrell's art. Thank you Sauk Valley Community Concert Association for another perfect 'night at the concert.'

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