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  1. #1

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    Saw this on the delcamp forum, an interesting article about studying with Julian Bream, by guitarist Laura Snowden.
    Trivia point - my son used to jam in a band with Laura’s sister, who played bass guitar!

    (and I’ve just remembered - for a while my son had classical guitar lessons from Laura herself.)

    http://vortex.unespar.edu.br/bream_snowden_v8_n3.pdf

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Interesting read...thanks.

  4. #3

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    great little memoir


    cheers

  5. #4

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    There was also an article by Alice Artzt:

    http://vortex.unespar.edu.br/bream_artzt_v8_n3.pdf

    There are some other Bream articles in the same journal but not all in English, you’ll need to use google translate or something similar. (navigation in the website is clunky, you need to select Enter, then Issues, then the magazine issue shown top left).

    Revista Vortex

  6. #5

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    http://vortex.unespar.edu.br/bream_leathwood_v8_n3.pdf
    This is the last piece in English in the journal, describing the collaboration between Bream, composer Harrison Birtwhistle and guitarist Jonathan Leathwood, who was scheduled to perform Birtwhistle‘s composition commissioned by Bream.

    Overall more serious than the other two memoirs, but with a few good laughs nevertheless.

    This memoir is in Portuguese but has some interesting images and links: http://vortex.unespar.edu.br/bream_prada_v8_n3.pdf


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  7. #6

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    Alice Artzt was one of my first master teachers, a really sharp person and an musical player. I didn't adopt the Presti right hand completely, but I learned enough about it from Alice to be able to perform a year later for Lagoya in a competition/master class in Stratford, Ontario and take away a prize.

    Alice was very sociable, and I met the Abreu brothers and several other world-class players at her Manhattan apartment during my lessons and visits with her. I think she retired from teaching at Princeton a few years ago. Great Bream stories from her, besides the one above.
    Last edited by ronjazz; 03-07-2021 at 06:41 PM.

  8. #7

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    Hi, G,
    Laura plays a quite impressionistic interpretation of Villa Lobos Prelude No. 3 with some interesting nuances. This was always one of my favorite VL compositions.
    Play live . . . Marinero


  9. #8

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    I used to play that prelude (not as well as Laura of course!), it is a lovely piece. Actually I have been playing some CG again recently, that piece is on my to-do list.

    Laura has given a few concerts over the years in the area where I live, but for some reason I have not managed to see her yet. But in any case I think she has moved to London now.

    The most annoying example was when she gave a lunchtime concert in a church right opposite where I worked, but I couldn’t go because I had a conference call. I was in a very bad mood on that call!

    The reason my son had some lessons with her was (as I recall) because Laura had to do some teaching as part of her music diploma, and my son’s guitar teacher had taught Laura at some point, so she arranged it. My son managed to pass grade 8 ABRSM classical guitar exam before leaving school, so it all worked out well!

  10. #9

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    "I used to play that prelude " Grahambop,

    Hi, G,
    The "Five Preludes" of Villa Lobos are the essential soup du jour for intermediate-advanced CG students. However, technical performance of the Preludes is just the first step in performing and understanding Villa Lobos. The pieces are highly impressionistic and, for most, it takes years to discover the treasures and nuance in these pieces.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  11. #10

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    All going well Covid-wise, I'll perform the Five Preludes next month - I have played them for thirty years, so I hope I'll pass Marinero's stern judgement

  12. #11

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    Good luck, D in your performance! I'm sure you have made some interesting discoveries in the music over the last 30 years. No one is writing music like this today. Play live . . . Marinero
    Last edited by Marinero; 03-06-2021 at 01:04 PM. Reason: spelling

  13. #12

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    Bream tells an amusing story about Villa Lobos on the DVD ‘My life in music’. He had just finished recording the preludes and etudes, when he got an opportunity to meet Villa Lobos. So he thought this would be a great chance to get some input from the composer.

    When Bream visited VL and played for him, Villa Lobos grabbed the guitar from him and said ‘no, you play them all wrong, you are making them sound too sophisticated and beautiful! They should be primitive, like folk music!’ Then VL played the pieces very roughly and brutally (he could play the guitar apparently, although not with great technique). Bream was a bit upset, and initially considered re-recording the pieces to reflect VL’s comments. But then he decided it was too late, and that the recording would have to stand.

    When the record came out, VL heard it and phoned Bream, who was expecting the worst. But Villa Lobos said ‘Julian, the record is brilliant! You played them just as I think they should sound!’

  14. #13

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    Here’s a great Bream masterclass on the VL Preludes. I love how he can just change a few details and it transforms the music. All these masterclasses are revelatory.

    I think most of them are on youtube now, they are certainly all on the BBC iplayer.


  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Here’s a great Bream masterclass on the VL Preludes. I love how he can just change a few details and it transforms the music. All these masterclasses are revelatory.

    I think most of them are on youtube now, they are certainly all on the BBC iplayer.

    They are all on YouTube now, and a great inspiration.


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  16. #15

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    Hi, G,
    I was listening to Bream's "Ultimate Guitar Collection" a couple nights ago--CD 2: Spanish Guitar Composers and looking for some new material and, for me, the trademark of Bream was his flawless technique and purity of sound. However, compared to Contemporary CG's, his approach to interpretation was decidedly pianistic and traditional a la: Rubenstein, Horowitz, Kempff, Brendel in that interpretation/rubato was more controlled by tradition/composers tempo indications than we hear in "modern" players: Fabio Zanon, Pavel Steidl, Marcin Dylla, Sergio Assad, Judicael Perroy. This was partly generational and later in his career--by choice. This was also the case with Segovia however, IMO, Segovia had a decidedly Spanish sound even when playing Bach. So, I would say Bream was a pure Classicist in every sense. Here's a beautiful poem played by Bream by Enrique Granados "Dedicatoria from Cuentos para la juventud" in his pure traditional/Classical style. Hope you enjoy.
    Play live . . . Marinero


  17. #16

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    Bloody classical guitarists infiltrating our forum!


  18. #17

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    and with the big elf no less!! haha...that guitar had huge sound and clarity...was a great build adventure to follow!

    well played per usual of course

    cheers

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    Bloody classical guitarists infiltrating our forum!

    Hi, R,
    Sometimes, I think I suffer from musical personality disorder in defining who I am as a guitarist: Classical, Jazz, R&B, Funk/Soul. I never had this problem as a woodwind player when life was simple and easily defined. Villa Lobos could have easily been a Jazzer as his compositions abound with lush melodic/harmonic lyricism and open to considerable personal interpretation. And, testament is that your video ,to those uninitiated to VL, could easily be seen as a Modern Jazz composition. There are times I feel that the best Classical/Jazz music is really not that different compositionly--however, the improvisational character of Jazz is too big of a leap for most CG's to jump.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  20. #19

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    The great thing about playing Prelude 3 on an archtop - aside from the opportunity to play some wonderful music - is that it is all playable with a plectrum/pick, without a not being changed or taken out. Give it a go!

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Hi, R,
    Sometimes, I think I suffer from musical personality disorder in defining who I am as a guitarist: Classical, Jazz, R&B, Funk/Soul. I never had this problem as a woodwind player when life was simple and easily defined. Villa Lobos could have easily been a Jazzer as his compositions abound with lush melodic/harmonic lyricism and open to considerable personal interpretation. And, testament is that your video ,to those uninitiated to VL, could easily be seen as a Modern Jazz composition. There are times I feel that the best Classical/Jazz music is really not that different compositionly--however, the improvisational character of Jazz is too big of a leap for most CG's to jump.
    Play live . . . Marinero
    Marinero, I know exactly how you feel - down to the fact that I used to play the tenor sax myself.

    Here is my take on HVL's Prelude 3, played with a pick on a Martin flattop, inspired by Rob of course. I tried it on a Telecaster, too, but didn't record it (yet).


  22. #21

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    It's nice on a flattop, Steve.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by docsteve
    Marinero, I know exactly how you feel - down to the fact that I used to play the tenor sax myself.

    Here is my take on HVL's Prelude 3, played with a pick on a Martin flattop, inspired by Rob of course. I tried it on a Telecaster, too, but didn't record it (yet).

    Hi, D,
    We might be starting a new trend: CG repertoire played on Jazz/Folk steel string guitars. They obviously are very bright/crisp in relation to the traditional CG . . . especially the folk guitar. I think one of the differences between your rendition and R's is that you took more liberty with rhythmic time in the melodic lines and ,in some instances, actually altering the time as written. I think experimentation is not just limited to jazz and these become personal decisions for a musician. And, then there's the purist Classical Music performer's dilemma: remain faithful to the composer's writing using selective rubato or, contrawise, rewrite the composer's music according to your tastes. However, this is not a concern in Jazz and popular music. Nice playing by both!
    Play live . . . Marinero

    P.S. What kind of mouthpiece/reed strength did you use on your tenor? R

  24. #23

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    What an interesting thread!

    I loved your performance Rob, it sings beautifully under your tender touch.

    I like playing mainly contemporary CG pieces on electric, a GB10 with very light strings.
    The sustain can be a help sometimes,other times not so much.
    I'm fond of some of the Carlevaro Preludios they make for some interesting ideas as well
    as providing some challenging plectrum etudes.

    BTW Rob...on a completely different tack [I was watching the America's Cup final race of the regatta here in Auckland today]
    How are you getting on with the Mike Stern book?
    I'm afraid I've got becalmed a bit [sorry, still a bit over excited about the race today]...anyway I just can't seem to get past
    something about the layout of the pages...is it the fonts used ? I don't know...I haven't given up on it...Mike keeps smiling at me from
    the cover...also I had some problem trying to access the audio clips,which are not recorded very well to my ears.

    Onwards and upwards.

  25. #24

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    Me and Mike Stern have come to an agreement to be kind to each other...in other words I'm going very slow, and Mike doesn't shout at me. Seems to be working so far...

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Hi, D,
    We might be starting a new trend: CG repertoire played on Jazz/Folk steel string guitars. They obviously are very bright/crisp in relation to the traditional CG . . . especially the folk guitar. I think one of the differences between your rendition and R's is that you took more liberty with rhythmic time in the melodic lines and ,in some instances, actually altering the time as written. I think experimentation is not just limited to jazz and these become personal decisions for a musician. And, then there's the purist Classical Music performer's dilemma: remain faithful to the composer's writing using selective rubato or, contrawise, rewrite the composer's music according to your tastes. However, this is not a concern in Jazz and popular music. Nice playing by both!
    Play live . . . Marinero

    P.S. What kind of mouthpiece/reed strength did you use on your tenor? R
    Thank you for your assessment, it's good when somebody actually listens, and has an opinion!

    I've gone off the steelstring since I got my Flamenca, I found that it handles most of my repertoire nicely. But you may like this guy here:


    On tenor, I had an Otto Link 8* and medium / medium soft reeds either from Vandoren or Rico Royal. I keep some Rico Plasticovers No. 2 on hand in case the bug bites me again.