The music on these two discs conveys a spirit of grown-up charm, clarity, bell timbres, catchy rhythmic cells and gamelan fertility... On the technical side we get first class piano sound. The project is lifted by the great artistry of Bernard Roberts – excellent both in the articulation of much dazzling fast music and in probing the poignant heart of the more reflective sections.
It feels incredibly special to have had this concerto written for me. It actually also turned out to be Stephen’s last composition, and so it is even more of an honour to be the recipient and to have had the chance to work on it with him. I have since gone on to perform various other new works, but this concerto will always be my most treasured commission.
Bernard Roberts' playing is excellent throughout especially in the way that he can articulate the differing passages and intensities within a single movement... I found this disc to be rewarding and a fine addition to my growing catalogue of Stephen Dodgson discs... These works have for far too long been hidden in the shadows of his works for guitar... A worthy investment for anyone interested in twentieth century piano music in general and the music of Stephen Dodgson in particular.
Announcing the release today of the first instalment of the Toccata recordings of Stephen Dodgson's music for winds, performed by the Magnard Ensemble. Much of the repertoire brings his sense of fun to the fore, often through rhythmic mischief or an insouciance that recalls Poulenc, but it also has that particularly English strain of lyricism that suggests the impermanence of beauty.
Solway Suite once again demonstrates Dodgson’s impeccable credentials for creating haunting melody, pastel colours and agreeable illustration, and for varying moods... Given the top-notch gallery of players, it is only necessary to relate the excellence of the performances, individually impressive and with meaningful interaction, and the recording captures every sound and nuance.
"Stephen's Concerto No.1 is modern but very appealing – melodic without being ingratiating. The orchestral writing is beautiful but still allows the guitar to cut through. Much as I like the concertos by Rodrigo et al, I find Stephen's work more interesting and concise. I was itching to play it."
These two discs comprise over two and a half hours of Stephen Dodgson’s strongly crafted music, beautifully played... Both discs are an absolute joy, the performances little short of ideal, perfect in intonation and ensemble, lively and delicate as required.
On a personal note, I absolutely love Stephen's Dormi Jesu, and it works so well in this programme – it's a wonderful moment when, at the end of the unconducted trio which has them absolutely mesmerised, you can hear the audience's audible exhalation and you realise they've been holding their breath in wonder!
Oboist James Turnbull and harpist Eleanor Turner perform Stephen Dodgson’s Countdown at the Swaledale Festival in a concert which also includes works by Bach, Ravel, Fauré, Donizetti and Vaughan Williams. St Mary’s Church, Arkengarthdale, Richmond, DL11 6EW The full Swaledale Festival programme will be available at: https://swalefest.org/Whats-On/Programme. CD reviews Countdown was also recently recorded by James and Eleanor on a complete CD of Stephen Dodgson oboe works. British Music Society (1) British Music Society (2) Klassisk Musikk MusicWeb International Double Reed News Review of Countdown – UK Harp Magazine Sample or buy the recording Stephen Dodgson’s ‘Music for Oboe’ recording is available[...]
A concert performance of Stephen Dodgson’s chamber opera Margaret Catchpole: Two Worlds Apart – a tale of misguided loyalty, passion and fate. The concert marks the 200th anniversary of the real Margaret Catchpole’s death. Dodgson’s 1979 chamber opera tells the story of Suffolk heroine, criminal and chronicler Margaret Catchpole. The opera immerses us in the internal battle between her own good character and values, and her heartfelt loyalty to Will Laud, a smuggler – the man she loves. Libretto by Ronald Fletcher based on the novel by Richard Cobbold. Background and full synopsis > A pre-performance talk by Anthony Cobbold will be given[...]
Cellist Leo Popplewell performs Stephen Dodgson’s Partita at a Bach-themed recital forming part of the Cambridge Summer Music Festival. ‘My idea was to explore the influence of Bach on twentieth-century solo cello repertoire. Stephen Dodgson’s Partita from 1985 draws upon Bach’s language through the lens of Benjamin Britten, whose three suites from the latter half of the twentieth century form a staple of the modern cello repertoire. Renowned for his prowess in musical invention, Bach’s motivic efficiency is explored in Elliott Carter’s Figment from 1994, a six-minute work encompassing a vast range of musical colours whilst based thematically on a single musical idea.’ The recital takes[...]
If Italy was the ‘cradle of the renaissance’, it was also the ‘playground of the Baroque’. Julian Perkins and Sounds Baroque’s The Italian Connection celebrates the infusion of Italian music throughout Europe with a programme that juxtaposes works by esteemed Baroque Masters with Baroque-inspired tonal works by Stephen Dodgson. Dodgson works include Invention No. 5 from Set 1: ‘The Worm’; Invention No. 5 from Set 2: ‘Plush and Roses’ and The New Terpsichore, Book 1. Julian Perkins harpsichord Sophie Barber violin Karin Björk violin Henrik Persson cello Sounds Baroque Italian Connection programme Find out more about Concerts at Cratfield.
Pianist Emma Abbate and the Tippett Quartet perform a concert of piano quintets, at the Penkhull Festival of Music, including Stephen Dodgson’s Piano Quintet No. 1 which they recently recorded on the Toccata Classics label and a voted a MusicWeb recording of the year. Programme Dodgson: Piano quintet no. 1 in C Schumann: Piano quintet op. 44 in E flat major St Thomas’s Church Manor Court Street Penkhull Stoke-on-Trent Staffs ST4 7LG
On what would have been Stephen Dodgson’s 97th birthday, pianist Emma Abbate and the Tippett Quartet perform a concert of quartets and quintets in Pisa including Dodgson’s Piano Quintet No. 1. Programme Haydn: String quartet op. 33 no. 1 Dodgson: Piano quintet no. 1 in C Schumann: Piano quintet op. 44 in E flat major I Concerti della Normale Teatro Verdi Via Palestro 40 56127 Pisa Italy