Chamber Music for Strings
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Chamber music in a somber, dark mood by a master British composer.

Bernard Stevens was born in London and studied at Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music. After his service in the Army, he came to national prominence in 1946 with his Symphony of Liberation , which won a competition sponsored by the Daily Express newspaper for a "Victory Symphony" to celebrate the end of World War II. Stevens spent much of the rest of his career lecturing at the Royal College of Music (also, later at the University of London), and became a tireless champion of contemporary music, and that rare being, a born teacher - whose warmth, encouragement and intellectual stimulation is remembered with affection and respect by his many students. He continued to compose, of course. His life's work includes an opera on J.M. Synge's The Shadow of the Glen, two symphonies, three concertos, much chamber music, cantatas and other choral pieces, piano music, songs, and other compositions for instruments as diverse as natural trumpet and guitar. His music impresses the hearer immediately by its downrightness and strength, its commitment to humane musical values, to firm architecture and the traditional crafts of counterpoint and variation. There is nothing flashy about his music; and in the 1950s and 1960s, as Britain strove to catch up with the Continental avant-garde, his robust independence of fashion hardly helped to gain his works prestige. Occasionally, wryly, he spoke of himself as one of an "almost lost generation" of British composer; yet as a craftsman and a musical mind he must be judged one of that generation's leading figures. Since his death in 1983 after several years of crippling illness, there has been a remarkable upsurge of interest in his output: this disc of chamber music for strings follows our issue of his opera and song cycle (TROY418).
Bernard Stevens, composer
Theme and Variations for String Quartet, Op. 11
Delmˇ String Quartet

Bernard Stevens, composer
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 34
Delmˇ String Quartet

Bernard Stevens, composer
Lyric Suite for String Trio, Op. 30
Delmˇ String Quartet

Review to come.
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