"best-love guitar pieces from legendary Julian Bream:
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 12/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Julian Bream occupies a pre-eminent postion in the world of the guitar and is considered the finest lutenist virtuoso of his generation, won many international recording awards, including four Grammy Awards, two Edison Awards and various "Gramophone" prizes, and attaining silver, gold and platinum status - including those made with his great friend and colleague, John Williams guitarist.RCA Victor Red Seal once again presents "The Ultimate Guitar Collection" this time the second volume that is inspiring and moving with originality abounding. Many favorites are stand outs - Albert Roussel (1969-1937), Federico Mompou (1893-1987), William Byrd (1543-1623), Francis Cutting (1583-1603) and Joaquin Rodrigo (1901) each selection is passionate, poetic and yes, even breath-taking. Bream uses techniques that are melodic blendings and shades of stunning basslines with unique passages, simply captivating.If you love classical music, foremost classical guitar music...this is a keeper, Julian Bream you are THE ULTIMATE!Total Time: 77:42 on 20 Tracks...RCA Victor 63713...(2000)"
Paul Kasson | San Jose, Ca United States | 02/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The brilliance of Breams guitar/lute shines through. If you love any of his work you will love this, I can never get tired of his work.Especially this one. Antantino grazioso is absolutely amazing."
email@example.com | Mount Shasta, CA | 02/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A wonderful companion to the first set, this edition includes 20 beautifully recorded pieces by one of the master guitarists of the twentieth century. And Bream is at his best in these recordings, showing off his amazing technique, as well as his almost daunting emotional power. An amazing gift to guitarists and music lovers."
Very Nice Bream Collection
J. C Giles | Staunton, VA | 03/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have volumes one and two, but I prefer volume two because it contains later recordings, which are of a better sound quality than the tin-can reverb that predominates in volume one. I really like the inclusion of about a half dozen lute pieces in addition to the guitar. I wasn't a lute fan before, but after hearing Bream playing lute on this CD, I am a convert. Ditto with what one reviewer said about Sor's Andantino Grazioso--purely delightful.
Overall, this CD consists of a good variety of masterfully played music. I only wish most of Bream's recordings were recorded using later technology, which would make his playing shine even more."
Not ultimate- but wonderful, none-the-less
D. Reinstein | Fairfax, CA USA | 04/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As good a guitarist as Julian Bream is, one must begin by acknowledging that the title of this 2-CD set containing 32 admittedly seminal pieces written for hand-played strings ( primarily, the lute) is a tad hyperbolistic. An "Ultimate" collection of anything would have to be more complete, by definition, than any two CDs can be and, again, it almost goes without saying that no two people are apt to be in total agreement about what should or should not have been included in any such collection. All caveats considered and aside, this is, indeed, a thoughtfully selected and masterfully performed collection of what is, unarguably, some of the very best classical pieces ever written for the lute. Bream plays some of them on the guitar and others on a renaissance lute - the latter giving a somewhat truer indication of the stylings and musical nuances intended by the various composers. But, even the pieces he plays on the guitar - an instrument that, in it's current form, did not exist when many of the pieces were originally composed - are sensitive and lyrical interpretations that sound as if they MIGHT have been composed for the guitar.
Without spending space here reiterating the specific pieces, their titles and lengths, I will simply list the composers whose works Bream presents so nicely in this collection. They span a range of about five centuries beginning in the time of England's Elizabeth I and spanning the years through to the 20th Century's premier Spanish and Brazilian classical guitar composers. The list reads like a `Whose Who" of classical plucked-string instrument music and of composers whose keyboard compositions work particularly well on the strings of a lute or guitar, and includes; - John Dowland - Francis Cutting - Antonio Vivaldi - Gaspar Sanz (*) - Mateo Albeniz (*) - Manuel de Falla - Enrique Granados (*) - Hector Villa-Lobos, and - Joaquin Rodrigo (*) = Pieces originally written for keyboard play.
Every classical guitarist has his own recognizable style and approach to the instrument and the material. An experience listener would not confuse Bream's work with that of Andres Segovia, for example: but it is not that one is better than the other. Each, in his own distinctive way, is simply superb. Though the Spanish influence is clearly audible with both musicians, Bream's stylings have a more contemporary lilt and inflection than do those of Segovia; he makes each piece his own. One suspects that each time he plays a piece it comes out differently according to the moment, his mood, the instrument and God knows what else. Segovia, on the other hand, was well known for his constancy once he had found a version of each piece that fully suited his own ear and temperament. While I am admittedly a Segovia fan, I find Bream's renditions to be noticeably fresher and each infused with an aura of presence in the here-and-now which I find especially enjoyable.
The collection is neither complete not `ultimate', but it is VERY good and well worth having in any collection of classical guitar music. In fact, for audiophiles not familiar with this genre, it is a fair place to begin to develop an ear for and a listener's knowledge of and experience with the classical guitar. "