News & Reviews

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Keene Sentinel, September 7, 2018

Bach behind bars: Nelson musician brings classical music to inmates

By Paul Cuno-Booth, Sentinel Staff​

 

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Keene Sentinel, December 3, 2017

Bearing the gift of Bach: Nelson man spreads classical music to the world's harsher places

By Liora Engel-Smith, Sentinel Staff​

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Classical bassist Richard “Dobbs” Hartshorne brings messages to Mount Pleasant

by Sam Fitzpatrick 

   

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Keene Sentinel, Monday, November 19, 2012
SOUNDS — AND BENEFITS — OF MUSIC
by Steve Hooper / Sentinel Staff 

   

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Keene Sentinel, Sunday, May 6, 2012
A Local View of Iraq
by Dobbs Hartshorne 

   

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LA Times Magazine, October 15, 2010
Making Beautiful Music In Iraq
by Annie Jacobsen 

   

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LA Times Sunday Magazine, September 6, 2009
Kabul Lullaby
by Annie Jacobsen 

   

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Northfield Mount Hermon Magazine, Spring 2009
Bach on Bass
by Mary Seymour

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New Hampshire Arts New, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts: Autumn 2008

Dobbs With Verse: From Classical Bach to Classic Doo Wop: N.H. Musician Performs in Afghanistan

By Rachel Lehr

 

August 18, 2008

Prison Concert Project receives a grant from the Yale School of Music Alumni

Ventures to support the 2009 California Tour as well as expanding the project to New York State Prisons during the 2008-20 season.

 

May 30, 2008

Prison Concert Project receives a grant from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts to present concerts in the four State Prisons of New Hampshire during the 2008-2009 season. 

  

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Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, March 4, 2007
Whether rock or Bach, kids connect by Bill Nemitz    

   

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The Keene Sentinel, October 8, 2006
Music to ease troubles Nelson musician reflects on visit to Middle East 

by Richard Hartshorne 

   

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The Keene Sentinel, August 31, 2006
Musician asks for help to aid Afghan children Nelson resident holds free concert 
to seek donations by Peter Cleary 

   

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The Keene Sentinel, June 4, 2005 - Classics, comedy find a home on his bass 
by Peter Cleary

   

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Bass World, 2005 - Interview with the Dwarf, Opus 14 review
by Robert Black 

   

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Bass World, February 2005 - An Invention After Bach With Verse 
by Sarah Kendall Bayles 

   

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Strings Magazine, December 2004 - Mountain Man Richard "Dobbs" Hartshorne 

translates his passion- musical and otherwise- into mezmerizing action 

by David Templeton   

   

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Fanfare Magazine, 1998 - Review of Centaur J.S. Bach Six Solo Suites
by Robert Maxham 

   

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Review of Centaur J.S. Bach Six Solo Suites by Anthony Skipper 

 

Here’s what a few more reviewers have said:

 

”a sheer delight on a literary level and a tour de force on a musical one”

The Ann Arbor News

 

Saturday night’s samples included a madcap “Parable” with definite kinship to a Monty Python sketch or a Robin Williams routine. Using a musical montage of distorted versions of familiar tunes, quirky sounds and his own distinctive vocal style, he spun his tale of a sheep disguised in wolf’s clothing who meets a wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing into regions of delightful absurdity. Animosity (in conflict areas of the world) would have a hard time lasting under his deliciously ridiculous assault.

Albuquerque Sunday Journal

 

After this... a composition by bassist Richard Hartshorne. A strange moment where the musician, over a foundation of notes skillfully concocted in a volatile rhythm begins to declaim a whimsical story, in Arabic if you please, catching with these somewhat approximate intonations the perfectly comprehensible meanings of the words Captivated, smiling almost euphoric, the audience sank their teeth into this “Mayonnaise” which had the air so deliciously absurd.

L’orient Le Jour Beirut Lebanon

 

”A Salute to and American Hero with Variations on a Patriotic Theme” featured Hartshorne as composer, narrator, instrumentalist and vocalist. Written to commemorate a Californian’s flight in a lawn chair, the piece reached it’s apogee with a hilarious set of variations on “America the Beautiful”. Hartshorne sang in falsetto while accompanying himself on the bass. For all its high jinx and burlesque effects, the piece owed its punch to Hartshorne’s virtuosity and sly admiration for the high flying, hapless hero.

Telegram & Gazette Worcester Massachusetts

 

Hartshorne plays with conviction and style and seems completely at ease as both actor and musician.

The British and International Bass Forum

 

Here’s what a few head’s of school/community concert series said:

 

Dobbs’ solo performance at Berkshire School was a resounding success with this audience of high school youngsters, teachers, and guests of the school. He communicated extraordinarily through that combination of humor and high artistry which I¹ve associated with his performances in the past. They are inventive, funny, and endearing all at once.

Richard P. Unsworth Berkshire School

All (our students) will never know the joy of a Lester Lanin felt hat, most will never go to Bolivia, some may never travel by train or visit Grand Central, but at least this Williston Northhampton generation will have heard the double bass played seriously (and also for fun) by a real virtuoso and will not forget the privilege.

Dennis H. Grubbs The Williston Northhampton School

 

I think the nicest thing about it (besides the quality of the playing) was the balance that you worked into the evening: the beauty and emotion of the Bach suite, which provided us with a “real” concert here in our music room; then the humor of the Godzilla story and the nostalgia of the childhood memories. One of our high school boys told me later that he had looked over at two of our other students during the Bach and they seemed to be so engrossed emotionally that it was almost as if they were crying.

William Dickerman Hampshire Country School

 
Personal Reactions:

 

Your Bach is quite amazing. Beautifully conceived and beautifully played. The sound is still resonating in my head.

Robert Black, The Hartt School

 

We have been playing the Bach suites over and over. The sound is rich and clear and it fills the house with feeling. In the spacious silence that comes at the end of the music, I sometimes hear, like a mountain echo, the tambourine chatter and the deep bass of male voices, the strong confidence of the women’s voices, of the Kangoundo choir, singing, Let me prepare, let me prepare, let me prepare A wedding gown…

Peter and Judy Steinhart, Nairobi

 

From a Sherlock Holmes Fanzine, January 1998, #3

Musical adaptations of the Canon are quite rare, and one of the best of them will be found on JON DEAK: MUSICAL FANTASIES, a CD (CRC 2296) issued by Centaur Records in 1996. "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" (commissioned by Richard Hartshorne of the Apple Hill Chamber Players in 1983) is an adaptation of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" for double bass and six voices (all provided by Hartshorne), and it's delightful. The CD also offers Deak's "Eeyore Has a Birthday" and "Lady Chatterly's Dream"(all performed by the Apple Hill Chamber Players), and if you can't find it in a record store, it's available from Centaur Records.