Paco Peña on Desert Island Discs

Paco P
A fascinating early programme with Paco, first broadcast: Sat 04 Mar 1978 on the famous programme Desert Island Discs.
I first met Paco eight years previously when the very first incarnation of the Oxford Guitar Society invited him to play at the Oxford Union (he was a young law student prior to becoming a professional flamenco guitarist).
He and I subsequently played in duo and with John Williams in Oxford and at the Wigmore Hall at around the time of this interview.
The download appears to have no geographical boundaries and is not time limited.
Thank you, Auntie!
Desert Island Discs FAQ

Bream fest continues at the BBC


This time, it’s an archive of Julian Bream on Desert Island Discs first broadcast: Sat 09 Jul 1983 on BBC Radio 4.

This excerpt of 32 minutes from a venerable British institution has this to say:

Julian Bream first played the guitar on radio in Children’s Hour when he was only 13. This led to guest appearances in a series on the Light Programme, and so his career took off. Before long he also took up the lute and played his part in the revival of interest in early music. In conversation with Roy Plomley, he talks about his long career and chooses the eight records he would take to the mythical island.

Julian Bream’s eclectic choice (including Purcell, Dowland, Benny Goodman, the Beatles, Django Reinhardt and Schubert) is particularly revealing about his musical character as are his comments on the music and his early life.
Another gem from the archive, well worth a half hour of your time and featuring the series creator, Roy Plomley.
Importantly, there seems to be no time or geographic limit on the download.
Desert Island Discs FAQ

Yet even more Bream at the BBC


I know there has been rather a lot of Bream on telly recently (just look at the related links below), but if you live in the UK, you owe it to yourself to watch this marvellous programme  if you are one of the two or three guitarists who didn’t see it tonight.

The programme consisted mainly of complete performances of music played by Julian Bream on BBC TV over the last 40 years or so and shows his wide influence on the acceptance of the guitar as well as the revival of the renaissance lute. Also, his playing on live TV is magical.

Highlights for me were the 3rd movement of Malcolm Arnold’s concerto conducted by the composer, the Bream consort playing Byrd, Bream and George Malcolm, Bream and Williams playing Albeniz and Bream and Yussef Allie playing Nuages.
Well, OK most of it…

There is also a sense of a passing age seeing the two retired maestros Bream and Williams knocking the spots off most modern duos.

The link to playback is still active until 31stJanuary, so go get it if you haven’t seen it already!
I hope the BBC make this more widely available.
Other archive programmes so far include Menuhin at the BBC and Tortelier at the BBC.

Here is a bit about the programme

Petroc Trelawney presents the last in his series exploring the great classical stars through the BBC film archive. He spotlights the legendary British guitarist Julian Bream. Now 80 years old, Bream’s life and music were richly documented through regular appearances on television from the 1960s to the 1980s. Performances include Malcolm Arnold’s Guitar Concerto conducted by the composer, duets with John Williams, hot jazz, classical transcriptions and lute music performed with Bream’s own Early Music Consort.

Neil Smith: live concert playing Albeniz, Tansman, Tedesco, Segovia, & Turina

Another musician who is one of a kind – from “up North”, Neil was music editor for Classical Guitar for many years, and has been on the circuit for over thirty years.
His early studies took place in Manchester and London with Duarte and then later at Toronto University, Canada with Alirio Diaz and Leo Brouwer. On his return to the UK, he made his Wigmore debut.
He followed this with tours and Proms Concerts with some of our finest orchestras and conductors including the CBSO under Sir Simon Rattle, the SNO under Sir Alexander Gibson and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 1982, he took part in a Royal Gala weekend at the new Barbican Hall in London, becoming the first guitarist to play Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez in this great hall.
Not only has he played in such distinguished venues; he has also played for His Highness Sheikh Maktoum in Arabia and for His Excellency the Spanish Ambassador, H.E. the Colombian Ambassador and H.E. the Israeli Ambassador in addition to the film-star Elizabeth Taylor in Rome and a special recital for a Soviet tank division at the castle of Attila the Hun!

Many thanks to selftaughtgirl

Omega Guitar Quartet: studio concert playing Ravel, Dvorak, Carpenter, & Milhaud

The Omega Guitar Quartet, in its third incarnation, sans founding members Gilbert Biberian or Greg Pikler. The Quartet was instrumental in commissioning works from new composers and putting guitar ensemble on the 20th century guitar map.

When the Omega Quartet was formed in 1969, chamber music for guitars alone was scarce.
Biberian founded the Omega Players, out of which grew the quartet.
As ever, thanks to selftaughtgirl