15 August 2020 16:32
Gardener's World presenter Monty Don has recalled the guitarist and lutenist Julian Bream and the game of cricket in one abiding image from decades ago, an image that has stayed with him. "Sorry to hear of the death of the great Julian Bream, " the popular BBC presenter wrote on Twitter. "40 years ago I played cricket with him. He wore batting gloves in the field to protect his fingers." "His cricket relied more on enthusiasm than skill but he was a sublime musician and lovely man," declared Monty. Monty Don: affectionate paean to Julian Fans also descended on Twitter to pay tribute.
"For any classical guitarist, this is an incredibly sad day," wrote one devotee. "He was an inspiration to so many, myself included. His legacy is profound, and his passion for music will forever accompany us on our own musical journeys.No cause of death for the eminent musician has been given as yet. As referenced yesterday by RTÉ Entertainment, Julian Bream won four Grammy Awards and received 20 nominations between 1960 and 1985. The genial, unpretentious Battersea-born player was essentially self-taught - the career began when he began to instinctively play along with his father as a boy. Julian Bream was perfect for television, bringing an unstuffy air- which certainly did not preclude his deep love for the Spanish art - to the presentation of an eight-part BBC series, ¡Guitarra! - The Guitar in Spain. BBC Four would be well advised to show it now again. Crucially, the guitarist played the music himself with immense feeling, recorded in beautiful surroundings, such as the Alhambra in Granada. That engaging set of programmes from 1985 tracked the music through the Golden Age and the Baroque period in the first two episodes respectively. He faithfully documented the work of composers Sor, Tarrega, Enrique Granados, De Falla and Rodrigo in later episodes. "I've been terribly fortunate to have played the guitar all my life, and to have had a wonderful professional life," the musician declared in publicity for the series. "I have travelled all over the world, I hopefully have given pleasure. I certainly have given a great deal of pleasure to myself. And the guitar is so synonymous with Spain that I find in doing these films it's a way in which I can say thank you to Spain and also to the Spanish musicians that have written for the instrument and inspired so much of the finest guitar music."