Dreams & Fancies: English music for solo guitar

Gramophone Magazine Editor’s Choice and BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Choice

The Herald: “Unmissable”

The Sunday Times: “The most seductive of charmed sounds…His playing unites finesse and poetry…”



Apple Music

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.’

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dreams-fancies/id1246375807?ls=1&app=itunes

Apple Music: https://itun.es/gb/_9Iskb

Presto Classical (CD): http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Delphian/DCD34193

1 – 5: William Walton Five Bagatelles

6 – 8: Lennox Berkeley Sonatina for Guitar Op. 52/1

9: John Dowland Praeludium

10: John Dowland Forlorn Hope Fancy

11: John Dowland Fantasia

12 – 18: Malcolm Arnold Fantasy for Guitar Op. 107

19 -27: Benjamin Britten Nocturnal after John Dowland Op. 70

Everything here is rich in melody and Shibe is as articulate a virtuoso as Bream, communicating the precision of these intimate chamber pieces with real passion. It also speaks volumes of an adventurous musician that, singularity of instrument aside, the album could hardly be further from the music Shibe played at the East Neuk Festival on the road to a week’s run a the Edinburgh Fringe (SoftLOUD at The Space at Niddry Street, August 21 to 26). Both incarnations of his performing are unmissable.”

– The Herald

The most seductive of charmed sounds… His playing unites finesse and poetry…”

– The Sunday Times