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  1. #1

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    We've just lost Julian Bream, whom many (self included) rate the greatest classical guitar player of the 20th Century, and his lute playing was hugely influential too. But he was first attracted to the guitar by listening to Django Reinhardt:



    He also anticipated Shakti!



    He will be remembered in the classical-guitar world for his commissioning of new repertoire pieces from great composers, one such being William Walton, as this delightful video shows:

    Last edited by Rob MacKillop; 08-14-2020 at 07:32 AM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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  4. #3

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    Sad news, he was my favourite classical guitarist. I also loved his lute records, they inspired me to buy the complete Dowland book by Poulton/Lam and learn to read lute tablature (on the guitar).

    In fact it was seeing Bream on the telly when I was about 10 that made me take up the guitar in the first place.

  5. #4

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    Sad news, I grew up with his recordings

    While the bar on the technique of classical guitar may have been raised since, for me he was perhaps the greatest musician ever to play the instrument.

    He could swing too!

  6. #5

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    As it happens I was just watching his BBC Masterclasses recently, it made me pick up the classical guitar again. I used to play some of the Villa-Lobos pieces, so I just got a used copy of his Villa-Lobos CD yesterday!

    Here are the Masterclasses (and a full concert), probably available in UK only though:

    BBC - Julian Bream Masterclass - Available now

  7. #6

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    Oh no !

    We knew the day would not be too far ahead but it would still be a blow and it is.


    He contributed so much to the guitar world.

    I was enthralled with his wonderful interpretive skills and his championing of new
    composition and virtually spearheading the early music movement and the lute in particular.

    Rest easily Julian
    You'll be long remembered.

  8. #7

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    Wow, very sad! I saw him perform a couple times, and he was always inspiring! RIP.

  9. #8

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    He was my favourite classical guitarist, too. The BBC masterclasses are a gem. Sad to see him go, albeit he lived to be 87 and couldn't play any more. Thank you for the videos, too.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    We've just lost Julian Bream, whom many (self included) rate the greatest classical guitar player of the 20th Century, and his lute playing was hugely influential too. But he was first attracted to the guitar by listening to Django Reinhardt:

    I saw him in NYC in the '70s. Enjoyable, impressive. I had a few of his albums. From what relatively little I know about classical guitarists, he struck me as the primo virtuoso. I will check out his connection with Django.

  11. #10

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    Very sad news indeed. My fave for sure, although never got to see him.

    I remember hearing Fandanguillo for the first time while driving to work, from his Tribute To Segovia album. It was practically mesmerizing to me, as I was not familiar with the modern sound of 20th century guitar repertoire (beyond Rodrigo that is). I had to listen to the whole thing before turning off the engine and going into the building. Also loved his Granada and Capricho Arabe.

    R.I.P. Mr Bream.

  12. #11

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    I saw him 3 times. He always started off a little ‘rough at the edges’, a few mistakes etc., but after a couple of pieces everything seemed to go up a gear, that magical sound of his would come through, and from that point on, it was an unforgettable experience.

    Another good thing about Bream, he would often talk to the audience and tell them something about each piece before he played it, there was nothing of the ‘aloof maestro’ about him. A great communicator.

  13. #12

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    Sad day. I took my wife to a Bream concert 45 years ago. Bream played guitar and lute. It was the most moving guitar concert I had/have ever seen. He was the master.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    We've just lost Julian Bream, whom many (self included) rate the greatest classical guitar player of the 20th Century, and his lute playing was hugely influential too. But he was first attracted to the guitar by listening to Django Reinhardt:

    I just saw the clip. He was fingerpicking, logical for him. Does anybody of note regularly play gypsy jazz without a pick?
    Last edited by Phil59; 08-15-2020 at 10:47 PM.

  15. #14

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    Semper Bream!

    He opened so many doors.


  16. #15

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    Also, important to note, he originated from the correct side of the river.

  17. #16

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    He was often criticized by "cork sniffers" for playing the lute with guitar technique. Who cares! As long the the result is great!

    I remember an interview where he said if people are driving in a car, and listening to music, any music, then they're not REALLY listening to the music because you can't do both. I thought that was quite profound.

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  19. #18

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  20. #19

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    Well these are my favorites:
    fluid and expressive playing.RIP.

  21. #20

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    Bream was among those who inspired teenager me to put down the steel strings and begin
    manicuring my nails.

    I saw Julian and John Williams when they toured the US making this album. Symphony Hall
    was across the street from the conservatory I was attending. Oddly, the thing I remember so
    many years later is the comment Julian made about the draft across the stage that kept
    trying to sweep the score from their shared music stand. "A tremendous gale", was how he
    described it to the audience.

    Thank you, and rest in peace Maestro.


    RIP Julian Bream-breamwilliams-jpg

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Also, important to note, he originated from the correct side of the river.
    Is that like how Manhattanites feel about the other four boros/boroughs--except in reverse?

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil59
    Is that like how Manhattanites feel about the other four boros/boroughs--except in reverse?
    haha yes

  24. #23

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    I still have my autographed "Dowland" album. His recital the following night was brilliant. First set lute , second set guitar. There's a great documentary out there as well. His album "20th Century Guitar" was a groundbreaking recording of mostly compositions he commissioned from various composers. Opened the guitar repertoire from the usual overplayed warhorses.

  25. #24

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    I wore out my copy of the "Julian Bream Plays Bach" LP decades ago. A true master. Such beautiful touch and tone!

    RIP, Julian.

    Added later: I never did understand the cover photo. Was one tennis player supposed to be Bream and one supposed to be Bach? And if so, then why are they playing against each other?

    RIP Julian Bream-img_4641-jpg
    Last edited by Flat; 08-16-2020 at 01:40 AM.

  26. #25

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    rip julian bream

    one of my fave clips...meeting stravinsky!



    cheers

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    rip julian bream

    one of my fave clips...meeting stravinsky!



    cheers
    i have to say I always feel a bit sorry for Stravinsky in that clip

  28. #27

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    Re: the clip with Stravinsky, Bream says he really embarrassed him self with this meeting...

  29. #28

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    The amount of quality new music written for him was amazing






  30. #29

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    Just for commissioning Walton to write the Bagatelles, he made a priceless contribution to the repertoire.
    RIP, Maestro.

  31. #30

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    From the first time I heard him, on TV, I always thought he was the most musical and the least mechanistic classical guitarist I had ever heard. It sounded as though he was bringing forth the music rather than reciting it.

  32. #31

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    A bucanneering character who would have shone whatever he did but we were blessed that he chose music. Still have the tickets for his Belfast concert, which unfortunately was cancelled. His albums of modern classical, often self commissioned are a joy.

  33. #32

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    Here's the book that taught Bream harmony (free download):

    Eddie Lang s Fingerboard Harmony for Guitar - Free Download PDF

  34. #33

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    RIP, Julian Bream. Often wondered where he would have gone in jazz if he had stayed in or doubled on jazz guitar. Julian Bream gave classical guitar a much more approachable face than the saturnine Segovia.

    Also gave a few Hauser-style luthiers a good living by picking their guitars. "Julian Bream picked my Hauser copy" was an instant entrée to a filled order book for years to come.

  35. #34

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    Sad news.
    I never heard he played Django stuff.
    He was my favorite classic player and Stravinsky is my favorite composer.
    Best
    Kris

  36. #35

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    He was funny and loose as well, he loved a drink and a "natter". I was fortunate to spend some time with him whenever he played in Boston, generally Jordan Hall, a great little venue where he and John Williams gave some of their greatest live performances. Julian was talking to the audience about his lute, and called playing in the high positions "mountaineering", cracked us up. Truly great musician, beyond a "guitar player".

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by zdub
    Here's the book that taught Bream harmony (free download):

    Eddie Lang s Fingerboard Harmony for Guitar - Free Download PDF
    Without wishing to change the thread, I hadn't seen the Eddie Lang book before; guitar seems to be a very complicated instrument

  38. #37

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    I was just listening to the BBC ‘In Tune’ radio programme in which John Williams paid tribute to Julian Bream. He said that a few years ago he persuaded the jazz guitarist John Etheridge to go and pay Julian a visit at his home. Apparently they had a great time discussing jazz guitar, Django, etc. and Julian really enjoyed himself. That was nice to hear.

    I was amused by another moment on the programme, it was from an interview a few years back when the presenter Sean Rafferty visited Bream and remarked that he had a beautiful lute hanging on the wall, but with its face turned to the wall. ‘Is that because the lute is in mourning, since you don’t play any more?’ asked Sean. ‘Oh no, it’s because that’s the only way round I could hang it on the wall!’ said Bream.

  39. #38

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    I listened to that broadcast on Soundcloud. Quite amusing at times.

  40. #39

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    You can also listen to Julian Bream on Desert Island Disks archive, cheers, si

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    I was just listening to the BBC ‘In Tune’ radio programme in which John Williams paid tribute to Julian Bream. He said that a few years ago he persuaded the jazz guitarist John Etheridge to go and pay Julian a visit at his home. Apparently they had a great time discussing jazz guitar, Django, etc. and Julian really enjoyed himself. That was nice to hear.
    john etheridge is underrated top player..he took over for holdsworth in soft machine and did a great job emulating holdsworths fearsome legato style...and at the same time he'd tour with stephane grappelli doing gypsy jazz...wonderful eclectic player much like bream...makes sense they'd hit it off!

    cheers

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    john etheridge is underrated top player..he took over for holdsworth in soft machine and did a great job emulating holdsworths fearsome legato style...and at the same time he'd tour with stephane grappelli doing gypsy jazz...wonderful eclectic player much like bream...makes sense they'd hit it off!

    cheers
    yes John is great, I’ve seen him a few times.

  43. #42

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    etheridge- (frail) bream-john williams-gary ryan



    cheers

  44. #43

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    What a lovely photo!

  45. #44

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    Great picture of Bream and Django from his FB page:

    RIP Julian Bream-fa99a44b-0a2c-4b66-96f1-1cc0b3d8f5c7-jpg

  46. #45

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    Apple podcasts have some stuff on Bream - I just found these in the ‘podcasts’ app on my iPad (first time I’ve ever looked at it!)

    RIP Julian Bream-24a37a81-a8ad-48c0-8d78-857e0dddf319-jpg

  47. #46

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    The Economist published a very nice obituary in this week's edition.