RECITAL 7.00 p.m. Saturday 15th February 2020 J. S. Bach (1685-1750) Prelude and Fugue in C major BWV 846 Ronald Stevenson (1928-2015) Passacaglia on DSCH Tickets for this recital will be available at St. Mark’s Unitarian Church from 6.15p.m. on the day of the recital Price £10/£8 https://divineartrecords.com/artist/peter-seivewright
This fourth volume in Christopher Guild’s ongoing survey of the piano music of the pianist-composer Ronald Stevenson (1928–2015) – a major figure in the cultural life of twentieth- century Scotland – presents works inspired by the human voice, where Stevenson was concerned above all to make the piano sing, to allow it to express human feeling as naturally as possible. That concern can be heard both in his own pieces and his many transcriptions of music by other composers, which balance sophisticated craftsmanship and a refreshing emotional directness.
The National Galleries of Scotland and the artist Victoria Crowe are delighted to host a concert on the 15th of November celebrating the music of Thea Musgrave in her 90th birthday year and the 90th anniversary of the birth of the composer Ronald Stevenson. This concert takes place at the Portrait Gallery during the showing of the exhibition Beyond Likeness which features Victoria Crowe’s portraits of both Musgrave and Stevenson. In addition to vocal works by these two Scottish composers, the concert includes music by Arvo Pärt, Benjamin Britten and Gerald Finzi to mark the centenary of the First World War in November 2018.
Soloists include countertenor David James, Brain Bannatyne-Scott (bass) and soprano Susan Hamilton, accompanied by Jan Waterfield (piano) Gwen Sinclair (harp) and musicians from the University of Edinburgh. The counter tenor David James will perform some settings of poems by Kathleen Raine (whose portrait is also in the exhibition); the bass Brian Bannatyne Scott will perform setting of Hugh Macdiarmid, and the centrepiece of the exhibition will be soprano, Susan Hamilton, singing the Nine Haikus with harp accompaniment.
After the concert, the event will continue in the Portrait Gallery café, where you will be able to enjoy a complementary glass of wine in the company of the performers. This is a great opportunity to meet Victoria Crowe in person where she will be signing copies of her Beyond Likeness book alongside the merchandise and two beautiful limited editions prints from her exhibition.
Note tickets for this event are only available in advance. Please call if you require assistance with access. +44 (0)131 624 6200. nationalgalleries.org
detail of painting by Victoria Crowe
Tickets have just gone on sale for a one off celebrity concert at the Scottish Portrait Gallery from 6.15 – 9pm on Thursday 15th November. It is celebrating both the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1 and the last days of the wonderful exhibition of portraits by Victoria Crowe at the SPG, and will include works by Thea Musgrave and Ronald Stevenson, both of whose portraits feature in the exhibition. In addition, performances of works by Britten, Part and Finzi will honour the end of the terrible conflict in 1918. David James, Susan Hamilton and Brian Scott will be the vocalists, along with Jan Waterfield on piano and Gwen Sinclair on harp.
There will be a chance to meet the performers and Victoria Crowe over a complimentary glass of wine after the concert. Tickets are very limited and are available only in advance via the SPG website, priced 25 pounds.
The concert is advertised at the moment as “Celebrating Thea Musgrave’s 90th Year” but this may change!
(from musicweb international) Ronald STEVENSON (1928-2015) Piano Music – Volume 2 Frank MERRICK (1886-1981) Hebridean Seascape (c.1935/1986) [13:05] Three Scots Fairy Tales (1967) [3:15] A Carlyle Suite (1995) [20:18] Rory Dall Morison’s Harp Book (1978) [17:04] Three Scottish Ballads (1973) [9:48] Savourna STEVENSON (b.1961) Lament for a Blind Harper (1986) [3:01] All works transcribed by Ronald Stevenson Christopher Guild (piano) rec. 5 & 12 June 2016(?), Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0388 [66:37]
I was confused. When I knew that I was receiving a CD of Ronald Stevenson’s piano music to review, I mistakenly assumed that it was a second volume to Murray McLachlan’s outstanding triple-disc set on Divine Art (dda21372). I had already reviewed this CD back in 2013. As it turned out, the CD in question was the second instalment of Christopher Guild’s survey for Toccata Records. Preparing for this review, I was reminded that there is yet another exploration of Stevenson’s music underway. The first volume of Kenneth Hamilton’s study of the composer’s music appeared in July 2016 (Prima Facie PFCD050). I have not heard this disc. Add to this five versions of the magisterial DSCH Passacaglia and several other discs devoted in whole or part to this repertoire, it seems that Ronald Stevenson’s piano music has suddenly become hot property. read on….
Mark Hindley – Director Fathers & Daughters A programme of beautiful, atmospheric and moving music by Andreij and Roxanna Panufnik and Ronald and Savourna Stevenson, including the first performance of Savourna Stevensons’ 2014 work The Dream.
NEW CD – Volume I of Kenneth Hamilton plays Ronald Stevenson.
Kenneth Hamilton discusses his new Stevenson CD on Classical 95.9 WCRI radio in the US under the title “Conducting Conversations”. This is available as a podcast on the following link:
The podcast include some interesting informal chat about the pieces themselves, and includes 7 complete tracks from the CD (the Three Scottish Ballads, Heroic Song for Hugh MacDiarmid, Rachmaninoff Lilacs, Novello/Stevenson “We’ll gather lilacs“, and Tauberiana).
This CD has just become available (July 2016). Kenneth Hamilton has recorded it on a fine Hamburg Steinway at the School of Music, Cardiff University, in Wales. The playlist is as follows:
Peter Grimes Fantasy
Three Scottish Ballads:
The Dowie Dens O’ Yarrow
Newhaven Fishwife’s Cry
Heroic Song for Hugh MacDiarmid
Symphonic Elegy for Liszt
Chorale and Fugue in Reverse on Themes of Robert and Clara Schumann *
Three Elizabethan Pieces after John Bull:
Jig—The King’s Hunt (revised version) *
Lilacs – Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943) )/Ronald Stevenson
We’ll Gather Lilacs – Ivor Novello (1893-1951)/Ronald Stevenson
Tauberiana (My Heart and I) * Richard Tauber (1891-1948)/Ronald Stevenson
Kenneth is already working on the second volume: sponsorship will be very welcome and may be made using the pro forma letter below (click to open this pdf)
This moving tribute event was fortunately recorded by Mark Norris (and includes improved quality to the pre-recorded pieces). Download and listen to the funeral recording
You can also download a pdf of the Order of Service