Dreams & Fancies: English Music for Solo Guitar | Delphian DCD34193

Dreams & Fancies: English Music for Solo Guitar


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Label: Delphian

Cat No: DCD34193

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 21st July 2017



Barely half a century ago, the guitar was such a rarity in the concert hall that even an outstanding player like Julian Bream was remarkable as a pioneer as much as for his exceptional technique and musicality. Today, by contrast, the field is richly populated – thanks not only to Bream’s own inspiring example to younger players but also to the vastly increased repertoire, so much of which he also instigated.

Yet even in this new heyday for the instrument, Sean Shibe – whose full album debut here nests among four of those Bream-commissioned works a clutch of Dowland pieces from a previous Elizabethan Golden Age – stands out as a truly uncommon talent. ‘I want to hear his interpretation of Britten’s Nocturnal over and over,’ wrote David Nice in an awed recent concert review. ‘This, for me, is the definitive performance.’

Born in Edinburgh, in 2012 Shibe became the first guitarist to be selected for the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme, and the only solo guitarist to be awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. He was selected by Young Classical Artists Trust (London) in 2015.

‘Can there be more luminous tones and cusp-of-silence dynamics to be drawn from a guitar than the ones 23-year-old Sean Shibe constantly searches out?’ – The Arts Desk, 2015


Whether any of the works in this debut solo recording by Scottish-Japanese guitarist Sean Shibe should be considered a masterpiece is debatable, though Britten’s Nocturnal surely comes close. Certainly most of them were inspired by Bream’s superlative artistry and are central to the guitar’s repertoire. But that question need not concern us here. Because, under Shibe’s fingers, they are all mesmerising.  William Yeoman
Gramophone September 2017
Sean Shibe performs with superb artistry... an intensity that combines gracefulness and threat with rapier skill  Instrumental Choice
BBC Music Magazine October 2017
It's not often a guitar recital leaves me slightly stunned, but this one did. Just listen to the sound, the way Shibe changes the colour even during a phrase...If you only by one guitar recital this year - it's called Dreams & Fancies
Record Review (BBC Radio 3) 16 September 2017
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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