R. I. P. Julian Bream – Homenaje

More very sad news arrived yesterday with the death at the age of 87 of the brilliant guitarist and lute player Julian Bream. His influence on the classical guitar, through both playing and teaching, was enormous and he leaves a rich legacy of recordings covering a vast repertoire. I remember seeing and hearing him play and talk about music many times on TV when I was younger, and have quite a few recordings.

It’s difficult to pick an appropriate piece to pay homage to him, but I settled on this wonderful work Homenaje by Manuel de Falla. The full title of this, de Falla’s only piece for guitar, is Homenaje pour Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy and it was a tribute to Debussy. It also provided Benjamin Britten, when he heard Bream play it, with the inspiration to write a much longer piece for Bream, called Nocturnal, which uses a theme from Elizabethan composer John Dowland. Given these connections I thought it would be a nice tribute.

Anyway this is an older Bream playing Homenaje very beautifully and it’s beautifully filmed too!

R. I. P. Julian Bream (1933-2020)

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