Stephen Dodgson Chamber Music Karolos Ensemble

Release Date: July 2018

David Denton, David’s Review Corner
September 2018

Certainly in his lifetime the record industry did little to disseminate his music around the world, and that situation has changed little in the present century. So this excellent disc of his chamber music will go a little way to redressing the situation, its generic title of ‘Chamber Music with Harp and Guitar’ a ready guide to its contents. Though he wrote much on a large musical canvas, he was a superb miniaturist, his magical Septet for flute, clarinet, harp and string quartet, containing ten Variations each lasting little more than a minute. He was a tonalist, though he used that description while manipulating it to create his individual style and harmonic language. He could also be a composer of outgoing pleasure as we hear in the Carnival finale of the Pastoral Sonata; the effervescent scherzo of the Solway Suite, and the infused happiness of second part of Capriccio and Finale. These performances come from Karolos, a group containing eminent UK chamber musicians, and are highly persuasive. The sound engineering is superb, and I fervently commend the release to those who are looking for friendly modernity”.

Bringing together internationally acclaimed performers, Karolos is committed to seeking out new repertoire, as well as performing works from the canon. The group has embarked upon a series of performances and recordings  of the superb chamber music of Stephen  Dodgson.

Karolos is keen to promote these works alongside gems of the standard repertoire, and has received highly enthusiastic responses to date for the performances of both, as well as concert invitations for the coming months and years. 

Although he was particularly renowned for his music for harpsichord and for guitar, British composer Stephen Dodgson was a versatile craftsman of chamber music. The examples here reveal his intricate but surprising turns of phrase, from the subtle exploration of sonorities in the Septet Variations to the sunlit beauty of the Pastoral Sonata. Dodgson’s mastery of colour and texture is evident in his Solway Suite, while the early Capriccio and Finale treats the listener to a kaleidoscope of whimsical and witty interludes. From Naxos website.

Purchase or download this recording from the Naxos Records website