Brighton Philharmonic present Worbey and Farrell, Brighton Dome, Sunday March 1.
Two pairs of hands are better than one, so the saying goes. And a lot more fun when it comes to jazzing up the classics, writes Phil Dennett.
Not that dashing keyboard duo Worbey and Farrell forgot to pay the composers full respect. There was no danger here of too many cooks spoiling this fascinating musical broth on Farrell’s 50th birthday bash.
They have just dusted down and put a new dazzling sheen on some well-worn pieces of music like the Warsaw Concerto and Rhapsody in Blue. Honestly, the composers would have enjoyed the way these keyboard creatives infuse the originals with a spirit of fun as well as retaining their innate soul.
Since Queen’s marvellous front man Freddie Mercury loved nothing more than a little melodrama, he would surely have relished the riveting re-make of the legendary Bohemian Rhapsody. The audience did, judging by the rapturous applause. Perhaps they admired the combination of sharp timing and complex co-ordination pouring from fast-flowing fingertips.
Many of the regulars in the audience must have had some idea of what was in store, the dynamic duo having made their debut at the Dome in 2018 in a Brighton Philharmonic concert.
Even they, though, must have been delighted at the captivating treatment of Nigel Hess’s meltingly lyrical theme from Ladies in Lavender, an engrossing mash-up of Strauss and the exhilaration of tango and Scott Joplin music.
Shifting Peter and the Wolf from Russia to South Yorkshire diluted none of its playfulness in a performance of wit and musical imagination which must have amused the children in the audience.
The Worbey and Farrell appearance was the latest concert staged by the Brighton Philharmonic to give its faithful patrons a different style of programme this season. It brought a display of humour, supreme confidence and inventiveness, coupled with sensitivity.