Fernando Sor: Fantasie, Op. 54 – Bream & Williams

A great look at the two giants, Julian Bream and John Williams, having a very fine time playing in one of Bream’s favorite spots, Wardour Chapel in Wiltshire, England, in 1979.

If you’ve been around the classical guitar world very long, you’ve heard lots of generalizations about these two. Popular opinion has it that Bream is the creative genius, while Williams is the supreme technician. Bream the Dionysian, Williams the Apollonian.

In this video we can see why people say such things. The contrast between them is striking.

But to stop there, with the easy observation, is to miss the best part of their gift to us.

What’s wonderful is the way their differences bring out the best in both. A beautiful and unexpected chemistry occurs.

As Williams himself said of the duo, “Although the way we each play is alike as chalk and cheese, we’re not two musicians, we’re an ensemble and we create magic together.”

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One Response to Fernando Sor: Fantasie, Op. 54 – Bream & Williams

  1. Peter Hughes says:

    Lovely recording and new to me, so thank you. Of course, I knew they played duets. I wonder if Sor and Aguado played this while they were room-mates all those years ago (I don’t know the dates, but perhaps Sor wrote it with that in mind), and how it would have sounded with Sor’s flesh-only style versus Aguado’s with-the-nail style.

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