A Julian Bream concert (1978)

A Julian Bream concert recorded in 1978. First transmitted at BBC 2 on 01 February 1978, The English classical guitarist plays pieces from Johann Sebastian Bach, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Isaac Albéniz and Benjamin Britten at the All Saints chapel of New Wardour Castle.

Programme

With starting times in the video:

  1. 01:30 J.S. Bach – Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro (1)
  2. 12:41 Heitor Villa-Lobos (2) – Prelude No. 3
  3. 15:27 Heitor Villa-Lobos – Prelude No. 1 (3)
  4. 19:15 Heitor Villa-Lobos – Prelude No. 2
  5. 21:43 Isaac Albéniz – Granada (Suite española No.1) (4)
  6. 26:34 Isaac Albéniz – Cádiz (Suite española No.4)
  7. 30:30 Isaac Albéniz – Sevilla (Suite española No.3)
  8. 34:44 Benjamin Britten – Nocturnal After John Dowland, op.70 (5)
    1. Musingly (34:42)
    2. Very agitated (36:16)
    3. Restless (37:01)
    4. Uneasy (38:36)
    5. March-like (39:46)
    6. Dreaming (41:07)
    7. Gently rocking (42:38)
    8. Passacaglia (43:29)
    9. Slow and quiet (47:17)

Julian Bream

Julian Bream
Julian Alexander Bream

Julian Alexander Bream, CBE (born 15 July 1933), is an English classical guitarist and lutenist. One of the most distinguished classical guitarists of the 20th century, he has been described as “Britain’s greatest virtuoso of guitar and lute”. According to his biographer Stewart Button, “Bream was a pioneer of the guitar, whose visionary approach fostered the instrument’s revival in England and arguably brought him the mantle of the greatest guitarist in the world”. In addition to altering public perception of the classical guitar as a respectable orchestral instrument in England and beyond, Bream has also been successful in renewing popular interest in the lute.

New Wardour Castle

New Wardour Castle
New Wardour Castle. Photo: Simon Burchell, wikipedia

New Wardour Castle is an English country house at Wardour, near Tisbury in Wiltshire, built for the Arundell family. The house is of a Palladian style, designed by the architect James Paine, with additions by Giacomo Quarenghi, who was a principal architect of the Imperial Russian capital city Saint Petersburg.

The building of the house was begun in 1769 and completed in 1776, with additional buildings being added in the 1970s and 1980s. From 1961 to 1990, it was the home of Cranborne Chase School, an independent boarding school for girls.

New Wardour Castle is approximately 1.5 miles (2 km) from Old Wardour Castle, which was left as a landscape feature of the parkland of the new house. This was formerly the home of the Arundell family before it was slighted in the Civil War.

Notes

  1. Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro in E-flat major, BWV 998, is a musical composition written by Johann Sebastian Bach for clavier. The organist Wilhelm Tappert claimed in 1900 that the composition was for lute solo, but present research indicates that it was not the case. The piece was written in the first half of the 1740s. Arranged for guitar, it is usually played in D major with a Drop D tuning. Julian Bream played it in a BBC2 broadcast on television in early 1978 at the All Saints chapel of Wardour Castle, when he announced it as “of vital importance”. In 1994 he recorded it on his album Bach Guitar Recital.
    1. Prelude is similar to the Well-Tempered Clavier (the second book of which dates from around the same time as this work), in which there are many arpeggios. There is a pause in the motion, when just before the coda, there is a fermata over a third-inversion seventh chord with a rich suspension.
    2. Fugue is one of only three that Bach wrote in ternary form, with an exact repetition of its contrapuntally active opening section framing a texturally contrasting central section.
    3. Allegro is a binary form dance with 16th notes.
  2. Heitor Villa-Lobos (March 5, 1887 – November 17, 1959) was a Brazilian composer, described as “the single most significant creative figure in 20th-century Brazilian art music”. Villa-Lobos has become the best-known and most significant Latin American composer to date. A prolific composer, he wrote numerous orchestral, chamber, instrumental and vocal works, totaling over 2000 works by his death in 1959. His music was influenced by both Brazilian folk music and by stylistic elements from the European classical tradition, as exemplified by his Bachianas Brasileiras (Brazilian Bachian-pieces). His preludes for guitar, written in 1940, are important works in the guitar repertory, and were inspired by Andrés Segovia.
    Heitor Villa-Lobos
    Heitor Villa-Lobos
  3. Prelude No. 1 is a guitar piece written by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos. The piece is in E minor, and is the first of the Five Preludes, written in 1940. The others are in E major, A minor, E minor, and D major.
  4. Isaac Albéniz’s Suite española, Op. 47, is a suite for solo piano. It is mainly composed of works written in 1886 which were grouped together in 1887, in honor of the Queen of Spain. Like many of Albeniz’s works for the piano, these pieces depict different regions and musical styles in Spain. Pieces are:
    1. Granada (Serenade)
    2. Cataluña (Courante)
    3. Sevilla (Sevillanas)
    4. Cádiz (Canción)
    5. Asturias (Leyenda)
    6. Aragón (Fantasía)
    7. Castilla (Seguidilla)
    8. Cuba (Capriccio)
  5. Nocturnal After John Dowland, op.70 is a classical guitar piece composed in 1963 by English composer Benjamin Britten for Julian Bream. It is considered one of the most influential works written in the twentieth century for the classical guitar. Julian Bream premiered the piece on 12 June 1964. The piece is based on Come, Heavy Sleep from John Dowland’s “First Book of Songs” (1597). Each movement is a variation progressively closer to the Dowland song which concludes the final movement.

Sources

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