British Guitar Music

British Guitar Music

by Graham Anthony Devine


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British Guitar Music

Julian Bream urged several British composers to compose for the guitar, to expand both the repertoire and the instrument's possibilities beyond the styles and conventions of Spanish guitar music. Yet it is odd to note how they turned, almost reflexively, to Spanish music for inspiration, and how many of their pieces retained its most salient features. Despite the modernist touches, the "Bagatelles (5)" by William Walton are not that far removed from the moods or techniques found in flamenco music or in modern concert works by Spanish composers. The same may be said for the pieces by Lennox Berkeley -- the "Sonatina," the "Theme and Variations," and "Pièces (4)" -- and Richard Rodney Bennett's "Impromptus (5)"; if played in a blindfold test, it is likely that the average listener would mistake these pieces for Rodrigo or Ponce, so strong are the similarities. Exceptions to this stylistic imitation may be found in the folk-ish "Farewell to Stromness" by Peter Maxwell Davies, and in the fairly abstract "Elegy" by Alan Rawsthorne; but these short works do not represent significant departures, and do little to alter the strong Iberian flavor of this CD. Guitarist Graham Anthony Devine plays the works with sensitivity and great technical control, and Naxos offers its usual fine sound quality.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/18/2005
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0747313204021
catalogNumber: 8557040
Rank: 149636


  1. Bagatelles (5) for guitar
  2. Farewell to Stromness, piano interlude from "The Yellow Cake Revue", J. 166
  3. Elegy for guitar (completed by Julian Bream
  4. Sonatina for Guitar, Op. 52/1
  5. Theme and Variations for guitar, Op. 77
  6. Pièces (4) for guitar, Op. Posth.
  7. Impromptus (5) for guitar

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