Julian Bream’s Guitar

In the pantheon of the great guitarists of the 20th century, the late English-born Julian Bream stands side by side with Andrés Segovia, Narciso Yepes, John Williams, and Pepe Romero.

An artist of magisterial musicianship and impressive technique, Bream’s extensive recorded legacy has become a victim to the vagaries of the recording industry’s ups and downs. So it is with gratitude that we welcome the recently released Alto CD of music by Fernando Sor, Joaquin Turina, Manuel de Falla and Claude Debussy in a felicitous mix with a Chaconne, a Prelude, a Suite and a Partita by J. S. Bach all played by Bream with impeccable musicality, sober restraint, idiomatic elegance, and an absence of any fussy mannerisms.

Half of the music featured on this CD straddles the early 18th and early 19th centuries: areas of the guitar repertoire that the formidable Julian Bream dominates with his mastery of the music of Bach and the Spanish Fernando Sor.

Bream then turns to the music of Claude Debussy for a perfect rendition of Le Tombeau de Couperin. Yet it is in Joaquin Turina’s Homenaje a Tárrega and in the same composer’s Sonata in D minor that Bream finds a true soul mate, digging into the Flamenco-inspired Garrotín with soulful duende, then following it with a superb Soleares, an evanescent Fandango, a magical rendition of the D minor Sonata, and a haunting Rafaga.

This listener looks forward to more re-mastered, reissued treasures by great soloists from the past century.

Rafael de Acha http://www.RafaelMusicNotes.com