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!
Those who gravitate to the serious chamber intimacies of the Modern-Tonal yet expect there to be a consistently intricate edge and would like another twist to a kind of Neo-Classical outlook, seek no further.
Dodgson's later work is long-breathed and convincingly explores material, ending in a poignant and moving epilogue. The earlier work is strikingly avuncular and athletic, with an expressive near-ten-minute hymnal slow movement that includes repeated syncopations. This, and the nonchalant, almost whimsical end of the work makes it a most listenable piece. Dodgson’s control of structural integrity in the Partita for solo cello is powerful and impressive.
The vocal parts are on the atonal scale but accomplished brilliantly by Robyn Allegra Parton. The oboe and piano accompaniments, more atmospheric than atonal in their impact, add a marvellous patina of colour to the pictures painted by the words. The effect in voice and instruments is magical. The Sonata for Oboe and Piano brings invigorating freshness. With fine performances by James Turnbull and Libby Burgess.
It was a joy to get to know Stephen's piece Idyll, during the recent Chamber Players week. The music was delicate, with a continuous gentle pulse like a heartbeat throughout... The solo violin line soared above, with some gorgeous dissonances in the inner parts... The piece was beautiful, and just perfect for the pupils on the course.
Cellist Evva Mizerska and guitarist Jiva Housden perform an afternoon recital at the Harwich Festival featuring Stephen Dodgson’s Duo for Cello and Guitar alongside works by Boccherini, de Falla and Burgmüller. Both are intimately well versed in Dodgson’s musical language: Mizerska previously recorded his complete cello and piano works with Emma Abbate while Housden forms part of the Mēla Quartet who recently recorded a rich variety of his guitar chamber works.