Today we learned the sad news that Julian Bream, one of Britain’s finest-ever guitarists, has passed away at the age of 87.
Julian was an enormously well-respected player and artist, and the warmth of the tributes from Sean Shibe, Rafael Aguirre and Xuefei Yanc show just what a positive effect his artistry has had on the next generation of great classical guitar players.
By way of appreciation Arcana has put together a playlist of just some of his many, many, fine recordings. They include Walton‘s 5 Bagatelles, one of the most significant English guitar works of the 21st century which was written for Bream himself. Also added is the premiere of Britten’s Songs From The Chinese, a highly original song cycle performed with tenor Sir Peter Pears at the Aldeburgh Festival in 1958.
Finally we can delight in Bream’s first recording of Rodrigo‘s sunny Concierto de Aranjuez, with the Melos Chamber Orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis, recorded back in 1963.
It is a small tribute to a figurehead of 20th century classical music in Britain, who will be greatly missed.
You can also listen to this fascinating extended interview with the guitarist by Sean Rafferty of BBC Radio 3, on the Soundcloud link below: