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"Stevens was a superb composer.  
Robert Matthew Walker, International Record Review

 

      Bernard Stevens 1916-1983
Biography Discography

Works

Sales Contact

 

Biographical Information
Bernard Stevens was one of the finest composers of his generation. As a student at the Royal College of Music, London, he won the foremost prizes in composition. At the end of World War II, he won the highly contested 'Daily Express Victory Symphony' Competition with his Symphony of Liberation, composed during his army service and first performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1946. He composed in every major genre: orchestral, oratorio, opera as well as solo and chamber works. A highly valued professor with an international reputation, he was, however, a reluctant promoter of his own works. Since his death in 1983, his catalogue of works has been attracting growing admiration for their power, accessibility, beauty and consummate musicianship, gaining them an increasing following. The listed CDs have received many laudatory reviews. The publication in hardback of the illuminating volume, Bernard Stevens and His Music - a Symposium (pub. Kahn and Averill, London) has contributed to a re-evaluation of his work.
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Discography

The Piano Music of Bernard Stevens
CD 1 - Works for Solo Piano
CD 2 - Works for Solo Piano, Piano (Four Hands),  & Two Pianos (Four Hands)
Michael Finnissy
Isabel Beyer
Harvey Dagul
Dutton CDLX 7160

Stevens - Chamber Music
Piano Trio,  Op.3
Sonata for Violin & Piano in one movement, Op.1
Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano, Op.38
Fantasia on a theme of Dowland for Violin and Piano, Op.23
Improvisation for Solo Violin, Op.48a
Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble.
Albany TROY 572

The Shadow of the Glen
one-act opera from the J M Synge play
Also on the disc is Bernard Stevens'
The True Dark
song cycle from the epic poem by Randall Swingler.
listed in best CDs of 2001 - BBC Music Magazine
Albany TROY 418

Symphony No 1 - A Symphony of Liberation with 'Cello Concerto
Baillie/BBC Philharmonic, cond: Downes
Meridian CDE 84124
This recording was sponsored by the Worshipful Company of Musicians

Violin Concerto with Symphony No2
Kovacic/BBC Philharmonic
cond: Edward Downes
Meridian CDE 84174
This recording was sponsored by the Rex Foundation, USA

Theme and Variations for String Quartet with String Quartet No2,
and Lyric Suite for String Trio, Delme Quartet
Chamber Music CD of the Year - Classic CD 1991
Reissued on Albany in 2001

Stevens and Howells Choral Music
Mass for Double Choir
Finzi Singers, cond: Spicer
Chandos CHAN 9021

Max Rostal in Memoriam (Remastered Concerto performances)
Bartok No 2/Stevens/Berg/Shostakovitch No 1
Symposium 1142-3
(This is a double CD)

Piano Concerto, Dance Suite, Variations for Orchestra
Roscoe/National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, cond: Adrian Leaper
Marco Polo 8223480 CD

This recording was sponsored by the Rex Foundation

Howells and Stevens Piano Music, 
Jeremy Filsell
Guild GMCD 7119

Classic Widows, music from the film by Ken Russell
Includes extracts from 
A Symphony of Liberation 
and the film music, Mark of Cain
Chandos CHAN 7008

Click here for details of re-release

Plans are currently under way for a CDs of Bernard Stevens' choral music

 

Reviews

Symphony of Liberation and 'Cello Concerto
"This is impressive music, beautifully written and thoughtfully scored, thematically memorable without sounding oppressive."
Robert Cowan - CD Review

Violin Concerto
"Successive listenings have persuaded me that this is one of the great English violin concertos." Lehmann - American Record Guide

String Quartets and Lyric Suite for String Trio
Classic CD Chamber Music Pick of the Year "This disc is an unanswerable argument for hailing Stevens not as somebody worth attention but as a major British composer of the order of Britten and Tippett."

". . . a centrally important composer who was unforgivably neglected . . ."  Edward Pearce - Classic CD

Variations for Orchestra
"The Variations for Orchestra are quite simply a masterpiece. In them Stevens concluded his personalised synthesis of serialism within tonal structures to invigorating effect, the music closely argued and tellingly orchestrated." Guy Rickards - The Gramophone

"It is one of the most imposing orchestral works combining traditional form and contemporary embellishment this listener has ever encountered - a fitting conservative response to Elliott Carter's great twelve-tone Variations for Orchestra of 1954." Paul Snook - Fanfare, USA

"His works are emerging with an untarnished strength rivalled by few of his contemporaries." Calum Macdonald - Music and Musicians International

 

Bernard Stevens' manuscripts have been acquired by the British Library

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Buying CDs and the Symposium On-line

A  number of the CDs of Bernard Stevens music and also the hardback book - Bernard Stevens and His Music - a Symposium can be purchased by secure credit card transaction from tutti.co.uk:

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Contact Information

For detailed catalogues and further information about the works of Bernard Stevens, contact:

Cathy Stevens
cathy@europastringchoir.com
01202 740379
Other Contacts
bmic www.bmic.co.uk
The British Library www.bl.uk
Bardic Edition www.bardic-music.com
info@bardic-music.com
Lengnick www.ricordi.co.uk
Roberton www.goodmusicpublishing.co.uk
Schott Music www.schott-music.com/shop
 

The Bernard Stevens Trust
95 Albert Road
Poole
Dorset
BH12 2BX
UK

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