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Baroque Guitar

4.8 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 9, 1990
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Product Details

  • Performer: Julian Bream
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach, Gaspar Sanz, Fernando Sor, Robert de Visée, Silvius Leopold Weiss
  • Audio CD (October 9, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 64 minutes
  • ASIN: B000003F1J
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,283 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mostly Mozart VINE VOICE on December 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD collects performances from the 1960s of baroque pieces of varying degrees of fame. The Gaspar Sanz pieces that start the disc contain material incorporated by Joaquin Rodrigo into his very well-known Concierto de Aranjuez. Bach's Lute Suite in Em is also quite well-known, particularly its marvelous bourree, thanks to Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. The lesser-known pieces on the disc are equally wonderful.
Julian Bream's playing is both impeccable and inspired. His contrasts of timbre energize these performances; at the same time, his tempi, ornaments, and phrasing are entirely faithful to the music. I am a classical guitarist myself, and I learn something about how to play these pieces every time I listen to this CD.
There is considerable background hiss on my copy of this recording. At its price, however, that's not much of a complaint.
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By A Customer on May 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The fluidity of his playing on this album is amazing. Each note falls in place at exactly the right moment. Besides the well-known J.S. Bach, he also introduces us to several other less-known Baroque composers: Gaspar Sanz, Fernando Sor, S.L. Weiss, & Robert de Visee. Too often, Baroque music is presented as just an exercise in counterpoint. In this album, the rhythm is matched to human emotions in such a way that it's not just an academic exercise. The music is both exhilarating and soothing. I regularly buy this album as gifts for friends. No one has been disappointed yet.
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Format: Audio CD
I urge everyone with any interest in baroque music in particular, and great musical performances in general to buy this wonderful collection. Mostly recorded in the 1960's I believe, the interpretations are flawless, the guitar sound other-worldly, and the whole package, at an outrageously low price, yet again demonstrates why Julian Bream is a performer and musician without peer. Quietly amazing!
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By A Customer on July 28, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is truly a great CD! I first hesitated to buy it when I saw a review here by someone that there was hissing in the background; however, I thought at less than 10 bucks, I couldn't go wrong and so I bought it--lo' and behold, I didn't hear any hissing at all! Maybe some people have very sensitive ears, but I really don't know what that reviewer is referring to. I'm glad I went ahead and bought the CD.
I had one "Bach on Guitar" tape cassette by the guitarist Laurindo Almeida--it was through this tape that I fell in love with classical music played on the guitar. I had always thought of the guitar as "folk-" or "rock-" oriented. Well, I realize now just how beautifully the guitar can "reinvent" classical music. I have a whole new appreciation for both classical music and the guitar.
Anyway, I was searching for some more classical music on the guitar when I ran into this CD. It really is wonderful, soothing, and at times, quite upbeat! You can even enjoy it while reading, studying, etc., because there are no lyrics! I wholeheartedly recommend this CD to anyone who loves the guitar, classical music, or both!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When Julian Bream came to the San Francisco conservatory in the early 1980's he began by addressing the masterclass of eager guitarists by saying "I am not a guitarist. Rather, I am a musician who plays the guitar."

This album demonstrates the high standard of truth of his statement.

Originally released in 1965 by RCA, this recording is one of the finest ever made. Bream was at one of the several heights of his musical mastery.

Of the opening tracks by Gaspar Sanz, both the stately Pavanas and the famous Canarios are models of exquisite phrasing, dynamic rhythmic energy and dramatic character.

J.S. Bach's Prelude in D minor is much superior to Andres Segovia's earlier recording. It is a bit slower in tempo, yet has a fabulous pulse that underlies the arpeggio figurations. The following fugue in A minor is a still miraculous model of contrapuntal clarity, drama, rhythmic drive and sheer exuberance. All the many guitarists of my generation measured their own efforts in relation to this rendition.

Fernando Sor's Fantasie and Minuet are completely captivating in the 19th century style. Bream had an affinity for Sor's music and also the taste to record only the small handful of Sor's opus which stood above the mundane.

Bream's recordings of the lutenist S. L. Weiss works take us back to the baroque. Weiss was a friend of Bach and the Passacaille, Fantasie and Tombeau chosen here remain among the greatest recordings ever made. The transcription is especially tricky since the baroque lute used a very different tuning and had 13 courses. Bream was the first to really make a definitive case for playing Weiss on the guitar, and these renditions demonstrate why.
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By A Customer on April 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I cannot agree more with all the positive reviews of this disc. I am a baroque nut and a huge admirer of classical guitar music, and this disc combines the two in splendid fashion. Julian Bream's playing is astounding, especially on the Sor minuet and also the lesser known pieces (to me) by Weiss. Overall, the selection of music on this compilation is great.
There is a fair amount of background hiss, as can be expected in an analog recording from the 60's, but the musical quality and interpretation Mr Bream lends to the music here would make any amount of background noise worthwhile.
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