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This expansive approach, however, has piqued purists of the authentic music movement who disapprove of Bream's modern stylings on the lute; he quickly dismisses them. For Bream, playing music is not a show of technique but a passionate attempt to reveal to an audience a piece's spiritual and mystical qualities. " Bream was born in Battersea, England, on July 15, 1933. Bream's first exposure to musical performance came from his father, Henry Bream, a commercial artist and amateur guitarist who taught his young son the basics of the instrument.

Traditionally the lute was played or plucked with the fingertips near the bridge, yielding the soft, intimate tone characteristic of a courtly instrument. Bream, however, played with his fingernails, plucking the strings between the fingerboard and the bridge, producing considerable differences in tone and dynamics—important aspects of any solo concert instrument. Lute Technique Reproached Bream's first efforts in the mid-1950s captured both the public's ear and imagination. But his growing recognition, along with that of the lute, also brought out traditional lute devotees who were exceedingly critical of his guitar-based style.

His progress was extraordinary, however, and soon Casals's revolutionary techniques had exposed "a range of phrasing, intonation, and expressiveness that had not previously been thought possible, and [made] the cello an instrument of high purpose," Taper noted in Cellist in Exile. Among those impressed by the ability of the young virtuoso was the Spanish composer and pianist Isaac Alb6niz. Upon hearing Casals play in a cafe trio, Alb6niz gave him a letter of introduction to Count Guillermo de Morphy, secretary to the Queen Regent of Spain, Maria Cristine.

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