Luke Bartlett at the May 2024 meetup

Luke Bartlett (09/05/2024)

Guest Artist performance at the May 2024 meetup

This month, members of the BCGS were treated to a concert by rising star Luke Bartlett, whom we regard very much as one of our own. Luke has been attending the BCGS regularly since the age of 14 and we have watched him flourish and his hairstyles changing from one visit to the next. He is approaching his Finals Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, was selected as an IGF Young Artist 2024, is a Julian Bream Scholar and has recently won a prize for Voice and Guitar at RWCMD. The BCGS has provided Luke with a small scholarship towards his studies at University and he has richly rewarded us with his ongoing support for the society and to witness his considerably talent unfolding.

It was clear form the outset that he had put considerable thought into his concert. In Fantasia by Alonso Mudarra, Luke used Segovia-like fingering to achieve warmer tones, with beautiful campanella over-ringing to achieve Mudarra’s aim of imitating “the harp playing of Ludovico.” He impressed in the Scarlatti Sonata K.208 with his cross-string trills and is ornamentation. His stand-out piece was the Fantasia-Sonata, Op. A-22 which was written for Andres Segovia by Catalan composer Joan Manen, a rarely performed piece. Luke achieved many rich textures in this dramatic piece, bringing out all of the voices. It had a fast section, lots of slurs and rasgueados, percussive and complex rhythms and ended with a slow soulful section. His concentration did not falter despite the loud ticking of the wall clock and a member of the audience knocking over a water bottle. The Sarabande for Guitar, written by Francis Poulenc for Ida Presti, was impressionistic and played with haunting delicate tones and fading into silence at the end. This was followed by Tango de la Casada Infiel (Homenage a Garcia Lorca) by Vicente Asenscio. Luke mastered the complexities of this discordant and sad piece with ease and made it sound beautiful. Luke ended the concert with his own arrangement of two rarely heard pieces from Herbert Howell’s Lambert’s Clavichord: I. Lambert’s Fireside and V. Sargent’s Fantastic Sprite. Luke elegantly caught the intended renaissance flavour, the first piece slow and reminiscent of Dowland, the second much faster with a slightly Celtic influence.

Luke rewarded the audience with a beautiful rendition of Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Prelude No. 3 as his encore. All pieces were played on Luke’s Kim Lassarangue guitar with impressive volume and he was able to demonstrate the full dynamic range of this instrument.

The audience thoroughly enjoyed this high-quality performance and wish Luke well in his Finals Performance, the Sir Ian Stoutzker Prize Final and of course the rest of his career.


Fantasia (“que contrahaze la harpa en la manera de Ludovico“)

Alonso Mudarra (1510 – 1580)

Sonata K.208 Andante e Cantabile

Domenico Scarlatti (1685 – 1757)

Fantasia – Sonata, Op A-22

Joan Manen (1883-1971)

Sarabande for Guitar (to Ida Presti)

Francis Poulenc (1899 – 1963)

Tango de la Casada Infiel (Hommage to Garcia Lorca)

Vicente Asencio (1908 – 1979)

from Lambert’s Chronicles:
I. Lambert’s Fireside
V. Sargent’s Fantastic Sprite

Herbert Howells (1892 – 1983), arr. Luke Bartlett