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Bream Edition, Vol.15 - Guitar Concertos


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Product details

  • Performer: Julian Bream
  • Orchestra: Melos Ensemble
  • Conductor: David Atherton, Sir Colin Davis
  • Composer: Sir Malcolm Arnold, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Joaquín Rodrigo
  • Audio CD (9 Feb. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Gold Seal
  • ASIN: B00000HZS3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 342,313 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Guitar Concerto, Op.67: Allegro
2. Guitar Concerto, Op.67: Lento
3. Guitar Concerto, Op.67: Con brio
4. Concerto For Guitar And Chamber Ensemble: Lento e rubato, vivo
5. Concerto For Guitar And Chamber Ensemble: Andante lento
6. Concerto For Guitar And Chamber Ensemble: Con brio
7. Concierto de Aranjuez: Allegro con spirito
8. Concierto de Aranjuez: Adagio
9. Concierto de Aranjuez: Allegro gentile

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 April 2002
Format: Audio CD
If there were anyway that you could think of to sell a classical guitar C.D, the best idea would be to fill it with the well-known classics that will be sure sellers. Julian Bream knows this (or maybe just the producers do?) and he has put the two most exhilarating concertos for guitar (in my opinion) on one C.D. Malcolm Arnold is a great and masterful composer. This concerto shows off his precise orchestration, distinct knowledge of each instrument in the orchestra (and the guitar too I suppose) and his wonderful melody writing. This is quite a challenge for any guitarist (esp. the second movement!) and for the musical listeners, it's one of those pieces of music that even people that don't normally listen to classical music would enjoy.
In the likely event that you actually want to buy this C.D, and you know that the classical guitar exists, then I don’t need to write anything about Joaquin Rodrigo’s ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’. If I do, you are missing out on the jewel of 20th Century concertos. Listen now!
Again Julian (or his producer) knew that because of the Arnold and Rodrigo concertos on the disc, that Sir Richard Rodney Bennett would get maximum exposure. This is the best way also to give an unknown concerto (at least for me, I’m open to correction here) maximum exposure. I found that I didn’t give it to much attention (sorry Sir Bennett!) with my stereo programmed to play the other two concertos. But I decided to give it a chance, and it is well put together. It’s just difficult to compete against the two titans of guitar concerto.
As you can see, I didn’t really try to describe the music because I’m just urging you to listen to it for yourself. Julian Bream doesn’t need much of a mention at all.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Buy it for the Malcolm Arnold Concerto 25 Nov. 2010
By Tom Poore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Though Bream has long been one of my favorite guitarists, his concerto recordings have been a hit-or-miss affair. But when he's on, he's incomparable. His 1959 premiere recording of the Malcolm Arnold Concerto, which he commissioned, is a jewel. The Melos Ensemble, conducted by the composer, does outstanding work--clearly they enjoyed what they were playing. Bream gives a youthful and intense performance. With playing like this, it's no wonder that throughout his career Bream was able to coax so many new guitar works from so many composers. The Arnold Concerto is a bit of a bon-bon, but a delightfully well-crafted one. Arnold always had a knack for melody. (He was, remember, the author of the infectious tune from the movie "Bridge on the River Kwai.") And the slow movement, a tribute to jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, has a surprisingly eerie heft. The only demerit against this recording is that the guitar is too quietly balanced against the orchestra. Be prepared to crank up the volume to make the guitar audible.

Of the other two concertos on this CD, the Aranjuez fares best. The Bennett Concerto is a murky slog that wears out its welcome long before it's over. But the Arnold is good enough to compensate for the dead weight of the Bennett.

As with many of Bream's great recordings, RCA has allowed the Arnold premiere to fall out of production. (Be sure you don't mistake this for Bream's 1993 recording of the Arnold, which is nowhere near the class of his 1959 recording.) When it does surface on Amazon, it's usually priced at a king's ransom. But if you ever find it for a reasonable price, grab it. The Arnold Concerto premiere is one of those glowing recordings that make life just a wee bit better.
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