Celebrate Julian Bream’s 80th birthday with guitar works by British composers
Tárrega, however, didn’t live to witness the career of Julian Bream, the remarkable musician whose contribution to creating a British guitar spirit, through offering encouragement and inspiration to composers, and then tirelessly championing their works, soon rendered Tárrega’s comment mere flippancy.
Below are 10 British classical guitar works to explore – if you’re not familiar with much of this beautiful repertoire, then it should make a superb starting point. I don’t think the guitar’s soundworld can ever fully escape the evocative influences of Iberia – but nor really should one want it to – but in the hands of the likes of Britten and Walton, guitar music also gained a repertoire which has powerfully and poignantly become an indelible part of British modern music tradition.
And why are we running this list today? Not because Andy Murray has finally found victory on the lawns of Wimbledon, but because the man for whom a remarkable number of the following works were written, Julian Bream, is 80 today. The following are played by a variety of soloists who have taken up those works themselves – what better or more appropriate way to celebrate Bream’s legacy? There are other works of course – by these and other composers – which could easily have been included. When you’ve read mine, why not let us know what you would you put in your list?
Martin Cullingford (15th July 2013) posted at: Gramophone.co.uk