A reflection on a special concert: On Friday 23rd March, a throng of lunchtime concert-goers were treated to a delightful gem of a recital – the celebration of Jane Clark Dodgson’s 90th birthday at St Mary’s, Barnes and part of the sixth Barnes Music Festival.
I was very glad to have this disc of rarities by the late Stephen Dodgson. Turner’s harp playing is as ever rhythmical, compelling and totally committed. Turnbull’s faultless intonation and pure sound are also lovely to hear in this work which I hope will be more often performed.
All four performers on the disc are excellent musicians and their playing/singing demonstrates assured technical ability, faultless ensemble, a real understanding and appreciation of Stephen Dodgson’s compositions, together with the means of conveying to the listener his wit and humour, rhythmic tension as well as the constant changes of mood. This is musicianship of a high order.
What always stands out when listening to Stephen Dodgson’s music is the way he writes for each instrument, exploring its sound possibilities, in a unique way. His music is easy to follow but it is never predictable... The Mela Guitar Quartet are sensitive players, who listen to each other carefully and produce a very unified sound, which is also very expressive. Their high level of musicianship makes you forget that you are listening to simply four guitars and carries you into a different sound world."
The Marian Consort director, Rory McCleery shares with us the story behind group, the process of commissioning new premieres and the discovery of little-known gems such as Stephen Dodgson's Dormi Jesu which feature on their new recording 'Music for the Queen of Heaven'.
On 3rd November, an audience gathered full of anticipation at St James's church, Piccadilly, for the launch concert of the latest recording of Stephen Dodgson works: a complete recording of his guitar chamber works performed by the Mēla Guitar Quartet and friends.
"The performances by the Tippett Quartet and the nimble-fingered Emma Abbate in the Piano Quintets and Susan Monks as the additional cellist in the String Quintet are a model of chamber ensemble playing. Their understanding is palpable and the ensemble flawless, the effect one of total refinement—just like Dodgson’s music. The sound is superb, the recordings having been made in the church of St Silas the Martyr in Kentish Town. A truly wonderful disc and another winner from Toccata Classics."
"I was introduced to the music of Stephen Dodgson through the wonderful series of discs that present his string quartets that appeared on Dutton. Since then I have explored a little deeper into his output and enjoyed everything that I have heard. This present disc gives examples of his chamber music that includes guitar and various instruments - he was known for composing for strange combinations of instruments as some of the works on this disc clearly demonstrate."
Conductor, keyboard player and director of Sounds Baroque Julian Perkins shares with us his experience of giving a performance, including several works by Stephen Dodgson, at a particularly unusual venue at the Swaledale Festival.
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 Mendelssohn: String quartet no. 1 in E flat major op. 12 Dodgson: Piano quintet no. 1 in C Chris Brammeld: string quartet 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