Martin Owen - French Horn
Martin Owen as soloist in Oliver Knussen's Horn Concerto with the
BBC Symphony, conducted by the composer in a highly acclaimed performance broadcast live on BBC television. Watch.
Knussen followed it with two of his own works, The Way to Castle Yonder and the Horn Concerto. There's magic in the concerto, as the soloist guides us through a world rich in mystery, murmurs and transcendent beauty. Both performances were remarkable, the concerto, with Martin Owen as soloist, above all.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian
(Owen with The Hallé, Bridgewater Hall)
Also on the schedule was the UK premiere of a new work by Knussen, but unfortunately his Cleveland Pictures was not ready in time. Instead, there was a performance of his 1994 Horn Concerto, with Martin Owen as the wonderfully supple soloist.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
(Owen as soloist in Knussen Horn Concerto, BBC Prom 30, 2009)
Owen as soloist in Elliott Carter Horn Concerto, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Conductor Oliver Knussen, Barbican Centre. Carter's 100th birthday celebration:
Martin Owen.... dazzled us in the recent Horn Concerto, a jubilant celebration of this "peculiar instrument" (Carter's phrase), with the solo gymnastics magically tinctured by a rainbow of wonders, from tutti shrieks and a percussion salsa to whispers of vibraphone and muted brass.
Owen as soloist alongside Toby Spence with the Scottish Ensemble,
Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings (CD Review):
Owen's playing is a luxury for the ear.
Martin Owen's horn playing is rich and expressive in the Serenade, and he manages the haunting, swooping octaves in 'Dirge' with apparent ease.
BBC Music Magazine
Horn virtuoso Martin Owen balances himself against the rest of the group in the ensemble numbers, but he makes the most of the "Prologue", playing with incredible dynamic range and pushing himself as close to the edge as Anthony Halstead did in the Nimbus recording...Moving into the "Elegy", Owen rivals Halstead for power and sharp character...The slow pace for the movement intensifies it immensely, and Owen's control over his final few notes is masterful. The subsequent "Dirge"...capped at its height by a demonic contribution from Owen's horn.
A more convincing case for an intimately-scaled performance of the Serenade is difficult to imagine.
Mark Jordan, High Fidelity.com
Martin Owen / Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, Brighton Dome Concert Hall, Nov 27 2011
Mozart Horn Concerto No. 4
After we had applauded the wrong horn player, Martin Owen kept the fun going by shamelessly stooping to play his pianissimos to the front of the stalls, teasing us with silences in the cadenza, and making the most of the 'Flanders & Swann' last movement.
Andrew Connal, 'Latest 7 Magazine', Brighton
Virtuoso soloist Martin Owen played a literally breathtaking performance of what has become the favourite Mozart Horn piece (perhaps Flanders and Swan have something to do with it). Flawless technique allowed Owen glimpses of humour with the chance to tease the audience by waiting fractionally on the diminished chords before reprising the wondrous cadenza: raised eyebrows and a beaming smile invited us to share the joke.
Louise Schweitzer, The Argus
Martin Owen…brings a Dennis Brain-like poetry to his playing.
Michael Kennedy, The Sunday Telegraph
Martin Owen gave a fabulous performance of commitment, musicianship and virtuosity.
Colin Anderson, Classical source (Owen as soloist in Thea Musgrave Horn Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, February 2014, at the Barbican)
It was a good idea to have Oliver Knussen conduct his Horn Concerto...a little gem, already heard twice before at the Proms and here given a radiant performance by Martin Owen.
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