Did you see Segovia, Bream and Williams live.

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Guitarhancock
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Did you see Segovia, Bream and Williams live.

Post by Guitarhancock » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:40 pm

Would like to know if any of you saw Segovia, Bream and Williams live in concert( all three)and your experiences. Not really looking for who was best . Just maybe a memory or two that stands out.

Thanks

I suppose I will be hearing from people my age (70) but if the younger group attended Bream and Williams concerts please comment.

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Christopher Freitag
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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by Christopher Freitag » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:30 am

Yes, I heard all three. Quick takes:
I heard Segovia live three times. The first was at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis around 1976. I remember it as a very good concert; it was one of the first classical guitar concerts I attended. I heard him next in Philadelphia at the Academy of Music in 1982. By that time I had been playing myself for a few years and was a more critical listener. He wasn't at his best, but there were still moments where that special Segovia sound was completely present. I heard him a year later at the Valley Forge Music Fair, a venue in the round with a rotating stage. They didn't turn the stage while he was playing, but after 3 pieces or so it would turn. I think it really disconcerted him, and the playing was just not good. I left at intermission, not wanting to see/hear more.

I heard Bream in Minneapolis twice and once at Cornell University in Ithaca. For the latter concert, I actually got to be his "body man", picking him up from he airport, driving him around town, etc. That was a great experience.

I heard Bream and Williams together at the University of Michigan on October 21, 1978. I know that date because the program, signed by them both, is hanging right here by my computer. A friend and I drove 800 miles to hear this concert, and it was worth it!

Finally, I heard Williams once in a solo recital at Zankel Hall in NYC, where he mostly played South American repertoire. It was listening to his Bach suites album that first attracted me to classical guitar and I really admired his playing, but by the time I heard him live my tastes had changed and I found the performance somewhat dry.

Still, I count myself very lucky to have heard all three masters on multiple occasions, and the Bream/Williams concert is one of the best concerts of any kind that I've ever heard.
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Godlovitch
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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by Godlovitch » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:33 am

Yes, all three. Segovia back in 1962 in Montreal, and both Bream and Williams when I was a grad student in the UK - late 60s early 70s.
Segovia was very majestic, regal, on stage; backstage, he looked awfully glad he'd got through another one. I've an autographed program from the Segovia concert - attached page by page.
The Williams anecdote involves a concert he gave in Oxford in the depths of some viciously damp English winter. The hall was effectively and predictably under-heated. When it came to the intermission, he told the audience that he wasn't going to take a break because he'd just warmed up and didn't want to lose it. So he roared right through, never dropping a note. I suspect he cranked up the tempo to get it all done sooner!
Bream gave his concert for the local Oxford guitar society. Afterwards, he and a keen group of us went with him to a pub for a pint. He asked us what we thought of his show. Not surprisingly, we were all gushing with praise. Quite the magical musician. In response, he said that he was surprised it had gone well. We asked what the problem was. He'd played Sor's Study 18 (opus 29) and was very happy he'd controlled the large stretches; didn't think he'd be able to manage them. Remember how religious Bream is about keeping voices alive.
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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by Godlovitch » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:02 am

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Sorry - here is the autographed Segovia program from 1962. Friends have commented about the other performances on offer - even Pete Seeger! Quite the concert program especially given that the theatre - Mtl's biggest back then, years before the Place des Arts - couldn't have had more than 500 seats.
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Peter Lovett
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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by Peter Lovett » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:15 am

Only Williams but on 3 separate occasions, two in Hobart Australia and once in London. The first was excellent as the audience was largely made up from guitar aficionados whereas the second was comprised more of the "...I must go because he is a celebrity......" type. The London performance was interesting from the perspective that I was sitting at the back of the stage as it was the only seats available. Williams did turn around and play one piece to us towards the end of the recital. For the life of me I can't remember where the London recital was played only that it was in 1974.
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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by a human » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:47 am

I was lucky to see Segovia twice in Washington DC, Constitution Hall. I think it was 1969 and 1972, when I was 16 and 19. I remember being very impressed and amazed at how well you could hear him. The second time, it seemed as if he was showing some signs of age, but I enjoyed the concert anyway. One person on a bench with a guitar ruled the hall.

I've not seen Williams or Bream.
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Rick Beauregard
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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by Rick Beauregard » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:53 am

Segovia (4 times not in his prime) and Bream once. My first Segovia concert was in the packed Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in Los Angeles. I was in the third balcony in the third row from the top. I learned that night what is meant by the "Segovia hush". A tiny but clear sound with no amplification. I was new to guitar and to Segovia. Enchanted.

In another concert i remember him playing encore after encore. Finally he stood up and said, something like he could play longer but didn't want to wear out the staff.

The last was at the recital for the 1981 masterclass at USC. It was warm and he had nail and tuning issues in the first short set. Then he came back brilliantly. This time I was in the fourth row.

Bream was great, no doubt, but not as memorable. We think today of the great theee, SBW, but then there was just Segovia then the others. I felt then watching Segovia I was watching a legend who may never return to the stage again. He did of course. He always did. As great as Bream and Williams may have been, they stopped touring well before the Maestro was still touring the world. Some say he should have quit earlier, but you've got to give Segovia credit for his amazing career span and stamina.
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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by Digory Piper » Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:58 am

Bream and Williams 7 times each, and Segovia once.

I first saw Bream in recital in Oxford Town Hall, then the following year in London giving the first performance of the Richard Rodney Bennett concerto with the Melos Ensemble. He played some lute pieces in the second half (it was a mixed chamber concert). Then, in 1972, I saw him with Peter Pears in a programme of lute and guitar songs, and on another occasion playing the Malcolm Arnold concerto with the English Chamber Orchestra with Arnold himself conducting. Guitar and lute recitals in London in January 1973 - the lute recital was an all-Dowland programme on the occasion of the publication of the Diana Poulton-Basil Lam Dowland edition. I was in the middle of the front row. His encore was Tarleton's Resurrection.

Image

Finally Bream and Williams "Together" in the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, in 1973.

Williams - 2 recitals in Oxford in 1969, and recitals in London, Exeter and Eastbourne. I saw him play the C. de Aranjuez with Previn and the LSO in London - in the second half of the concert he came to sit near us, next to Mia Farrow who was Mrs Previn at the time, while John Ogdon played the Greig concerto. And, also for the final time, the "Together" concert. Except for the London recital, where he played a Bach suite (BWV 1006A), the recitals were the usual stuff.

Segovia - just one recital, in London, in 1972, in the Royal Festival Hall. I had a poor seat, under the balcony, and there was much coughing - he had to do his handkerchief stunt at one stage. He played my favourite Albeniz piece - Torre Bermeja - but I could hardly hear it. I'm glad I saw him.....

I wish I'd seen more of Bream - work took me away to remote places after '74. But he was - is - such a great and versatile musician, as the above tiny sample suggests.

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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by LukeMarsden » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:16 am

Digory Piper wrote:
Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:58 am
Bream and Williams 7 times each, and Segovia once.

I first saw Bream in recital in Oxford Town Hall, then the following year in London giving the first performance of the Richard Rodney Bennett concerto with the Melos Ensemble. He played some lute pieces in the second half (it was a mixed chamber concert). Then, in 1972, I saw him with Peter Pears in a programme of lute and guitar songs, and on another occasion playing the Malcolm Arnold concerto with the English Chamber Orchestra with Arnold himself conducting. Guitar and lute recitals in London in January 1973 - the lute recital was an all-Dowland programme on the occasion of the publication of the Diana Poulton-Basil Lam Dowland edition. I was in the middle of the front row. His encore was Tarleton's Resurrection.

Image

Finally Bream and Williams "Together" in the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, in 1973.

Williams - 2 recitals in Oxford in 1969, and recitals in London, Exeter and Eastbourne. I saw him play the C. de Aranjuez with Previn and the LSO in London - in the second half of the concert he came to sit near us, next to Mia Farrow who was Mrs Previn at the time, while John Ogdon played the Greig concerto. And, also for the final time, the "Together" concert. Except for the London recital, where he played a Bach suite (BWV 1006A), the recitals were the usual stuff.

Segovia - just one recital, in London, in 1972, in the Royal Festival Hall. I had a poor seat, under the balcony, and there was much coughing - he had to do his handkerchief stunt at one stage. He played my favourite Albeniz piece - Torre Bermeja - but I could hardly hear it. I'm glad I saw him.....

I wish I'd seen more of Bream - work took me away to remote places after '74. But he was - is - such a great and versatile musician, as the above tiny sample suggests.
What's the "handkerchief stunt"?

LukeMarsden
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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by LukeMarsden » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:17 am

Digory Piper wrote:
Sun Aug 06, 2017 7:58 am
Bream and Williams 7 times each, and Segovia once.

I first saw Bream in recital in Oxford Town Hall, then the following year in London giving the first performance of the Richard Rodney Bennett concerto with the Melos Ensemble. He played some lute pieces in the second half (it was a mixed chamber concert). Then, in 1972, I saw him with Peter Pears in a programme of lute and guitar songs, and on another occasion playing the Malcolm Arnold concerto with the English Chamber Orchestra with Arnold himself conducting. Guitar and lute recitals in London in January 1973 - the lute recital was an all-Dowland programme on the occasion of the publication of the Diana Poulton-Basil Lam Dowland edition. I was in the middle of the front row. His encore was Tarleton's Resurrection.

Image

Finally Bream and Williams "Together" in the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, in 1973.

Williams - 2 recitals in Oxford in 1969, and recitals in London, Exeter and Eastbourne. I saw him play the C. de Aranjuez with Previn and the LSO in London - in the second half of the concert he came to sit near us, next to Mia Farrow who was Mrs Previn at the time, while John Ogdon played the Greig concerto. And, also for the final time, the "Together" concert. Except for the London recital, where he played a Bach suite (BWV 1006A), the recitals were the usual stuff.

Segovia - just one recital, in London, in 1972, in the Royal Festival Hall. I had a poor seat, under the balcony, and there was much coughing - he had to do his handkerchief stunt at one stage. He played my favourite Albeniz piece - Torre Bermeja - but I could hardly hear it. I'm glad I saw him.....

I wish I'd seen more of Bream - work took me away to remote places after '74. But he was - is - such a great and versatile musician, as the above tiny sample suggests.
What's the "handkerchief stunt"?

LukeMarsden
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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by LukeMarsden » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:19 am

Wow - amazing stories.

I'm too young to have seen Bream or Segovia - I wish I could have.

It's really wonderful that everyone here tells their stories so we can all remember them as cherish them.

Digory Piper
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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by Digory Piper » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:22 am

LukeMarsden wrote:
Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:16 am
What's the "handkerchief stunt"?
When the coughing got too much he would produce a large white handkerchief from his top pocket and cough politely into it. This would be followed by a ripple of applause as people got the message.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by Adrian Allan » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:29 am

I saw Williams three times in the 1990s, twice at the new Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, and once at Lancaster University playing the Aranjuez
I saw Bream play on three occasions, once in Manchester, once in Oldham and once in Lancaster.

Bream in Lancaster was interesting because I stayed behind and met him, along with John Mills and his wife who also queued up to say hello.

Bream had taught my guitar teacher at the time, Martin Roberts in Manchester, so I asked him:

"you used to teach my guitar teacher, Martin Roberts, do you remember him?"
"yes I do, very well, he used to live at a pet shop in Eccles and he was an excellent player"

Obviously I rang up my guitar teacher and told him that Bream sent his best wishes.
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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by celestemcc » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:08 pm

Segovia twice, ca 1968 and 1970, Symphony Hall in Boston (don't quote me on the dates, just remembering how old I was so guessing the dates). He was probably a bit past prime -- definitely the second time -- but I was a young teen, newly enamored of classical guitar, and he WAS the CG hero! I was awestruck and inspired.
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Aucaman
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Re: Did you see Segovia,Bream and Wiliams live.

Post by Aucaman » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:51 pm

I saw Segovia at the Municipal Theater in Santiago de Chile in the late 1950s or so. At that time I didn't really quite understand who he was. Don't remember why, but we went back stage to meet him BEFORE the recital (??). He was chatting with us and loosely playing his guitar at the same time. At one moment somehow he conveyed that he was nervous. Then I stupidly asked him:
"If you are really such a big shot, why are you so nervous?"
He looked daggers at me and furiously said something like: "Didn't your parents teach you some manners? I DO have a name, but I still have the right to be nervous when I please! Now you all get out of here, because I have work to do!" [all this exchange was in Spanish]. He immediately kicked us out and that was the end of that.
I was dutifully chastised by everybody around me for the rest of the evening. I remember seeing him on stage that evening, but I have no idea what he played nor [and this is the worst part] that I cared all that much! I'm ashamed to admit it, but unfortunately it's the truth.

By the time I got to see Julian Bream and John Williams in London, I had already been studying the classical guitar for at least 5 years. Julian Bream was already my hero, with John Williams on the second place. I had already purchased all of Bream's LPs and some of Williams too.
I heard both perform at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London when I lived there in the early 1970s. Bream totally amazed me with his artistry and passion. He played a set of Elizabethan Music on his Lute and then a set of Spanish music on his guitar. He did two encores: Two Villa-Lobos Preludes. An unforgettable evening.
John Williams recital was the complete Lute works of Bach. Hard to believe hearing all that music in just one evening! However, I left with the impression that he was basically a amazing machine performing Bach to total perfection. Not a single flaw but not a single hint of emotion.

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