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CHAN 10261
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CHAN 10261
Lennox and Michael Berkeley: Guitar Works

Berkeley, Lennox & Michael: Guitar Works

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2004

Originally recorded in 2004

Artists:

Craig Ogden

guitar

Venue:

Catherine du Pré Music Building, St Hildas College, Oxford



Producer:

Ralph Couzens



Engineer:

Ralph Couzens


Michael Common

(Assistant)

Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Guitar




Total Time - 55:51
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Lennox and Michael Berkeley: Guitar Works

 

LENNOX BERKELEY

(1903-1989)
Select Complete Single Disc for
   
premiere recording
 

Quatre Pièces pour la guitare, Op. post. (1928)

9:44  
  A Señor Andrés Segovia  
1 I Moderato ma con brio 2:02
2 II Andante con moto 3:12
3 III Lento (Mouvement de sarabande) 2:37
4 IV Allegro, energico 1:53
   
 

Sonatina, Op. 52 No. 1 (1957)

11:10  
  for Guitar  
  For Julian Bream  
5 I Allegretto 4:42
6 II Lento - Tempo rubato 3:05
7 III Rondo. Allegro non troppo - Lento 3:23
   
 

Theme and Variations, Op. 77 (1970)

7:50  
  for Guitar  
  To Angelo Gilardino  
8 Theme. Moderato - 1:17
9 Variazione I. Allegro - Meno vivo - 0:45
10 Variazione II. Allegretto - 1:02
11 Variazione III. Lento - 0:59
12 Variazione IV. Andante - 1:43
13 Variazione V. Allegro - Un poco largamente - Tempo I - 0:38
14 Variazione IV (Epilogue). Lento 1:25
   
 

MICHAEL BERKELEY

(b. 1948)
15 

Lament (1979)

5:52
  Un poco più mosso - Un poco più mosso -  
16 

Worry Beads (1979)

4:45
  Più mosso - Maestoso - Più mosso fairly free  
   
premiere recording
17 

Sonata in One Movement (1982)

12:43
  for Guitar  
  To Julian Bream and Jimmy Burnett  
  Lento (Very free) - Allegro - Marcato -  
   
premiere recording
18 

Impromptu (1983)

3:48
  Quite slow but flowing  
Craig Ogden has frequently been described as a worthy successor to Julian Bream, which makes this disc all the more interesting, for several works on this CD bear witness to the artistry of that great guitarist. Bream’s musicianship inspired many British composers, including Lennox Berkeley and his son Michael, to compose works for him.

Nearly all the works on this disc here receive their premiere recordings.

Chandos continues its survey of the music of Sir Lennox and Michael Berkeley with this disc of solo guitar works.

Craig Ogden has recorded a number of very successful discs for Chandos, including guitar concertos by Berkeley, Arnold and Walton, and the best-selling Music from the Novels of Louis de Bernieres.



Lennox Berkeley’s Quatre Pièces pour la guitare is an early work. In 1928 for Andés Segovia was the rage of Europe. Composers flocked to write works for him, including the twenty-five-year-old Berkeley, who sent him these four character pieces. Segovia did not perform them and they lay forgotten until discovered amongst Segovia’s papers in 2001, after the guitarist’s death. Lennox Berkeley’s first work for Bream was Sonatina, Op. 52 No. 1, composed in 1957, and premiered the following year. He wrote his Theme and Variations in 1970 for the Italian guitarist Angelo Giardino. Like his father, Michael Berkeley relishes the sound of the guitar and two of his pieces have associations with Julian Bream. Michael Berkeley was invited to the guitarist’s fiftieth birthday party concert in 1983. Berkeley wrote Impromptu as a birthday card and present combined. Impromptu is based on the notes B-E-A, letters embedded within Bream’s surname. The title for the étude-like Worry Beads sprang from a trip to North Africa, where Michael Berkeley watched the indigenous people incessantly fingering their worry beads. Berkeley found that the behaviour matched the character of the work’s principle idea. Lament was Berkeley’s first work for solo guitar, commissioned by Oxford University Press for its second book of Modern Guitar Music. The Sonata in One Movement was commissioned by the BBC Transcription Service as part of the Anniversary Celebrations of the BBC External Services. It was written for Julian Bream who gave the premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival. Before putting pen to paper, Berkeley consulted Bream extensively about exploiting the guitar’s less used sonorities. The resultant work is based on the unusual juxtapositioning of low chords and high harmonics.



'Craig Ogden is an ideally sympathetic interpreter of both composers: his control of rhythm and the mechanics of guitar playing scarcely falters, and he makes a most beautiful sound. This is enhanced by the recording, ideally intimate and atmospheric.'
BBC Music Magazine

Craig Ogden’s playing is beyond reproach, and the recording is excellent. Andrew Burn contributes very good booklet notes.
International Record Review

Berkeley père and fils both experimented with serialism and atonality, but for the most part their music is in a comfortable neo-tonal idiom. Michael’s language, at least in the pieces here, is notably tamer than his father’s, without the latter’s pointed dissonances and angular melodies. In their place are dulcet harmonies and an almost uninterrupted cantabile… Chandos’s sound is clean and transparent and the notes by Andrew Burn offer helpful guidance to the pieces.
American Record Guide

'This is a treasure trove for guitarists.'
Gramophone




*****
R Cambridge

*****
L Frattaroli