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Bernard Roberts: Dodgson Sonatas, Vol. 2

By Bernard Roberts

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By Bernard Roberts. By Stephen Dodgson (1924-). Classical, Piano. Classical. Listening CD. Naxos #CC4941-2. Published by Naxos (NX.CC4941-2).

Item Number: NX.CC4941-2

While some parts of Stephen Dodgson's work have become relatively well-known - in particular his music for guitar, which has an international reputation - much of his output is known only partially and to a limited circle. His large output of music for harpsichord is the result of a long association with many of its leading exponents, with resulting requests and commissions, and has attracted a circle of admirers. By contrast, his equally distinctive and idiomatic writing for the piano has in only two instances been prompted by commissions (Sonatas Nos. 2 & 3). All the rest has arisen from purely personal impulses. This recording serves as an introduction to it. Understandably, a good deal of other piano music (including several sonatas) preceded No.l (1959) written when he was 35. No.2 was commissioned by Thomas McIntosh, who gave the premiere at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London in 1975. It was this work, in addition to several items of chamber music, which introduced Stephen Dodgson to Bernard Roberts. Their association was strengthened when an American admirer of Bernard Roberts commissioned No 3 (1983) especially for him. All subsequent sonatas, now stretching to No.6 (1997) have been premiered by Roberts, who has thereby become an important stimulus in their genesis. Stephen Dodgson was for many years a teacher at the Royal College of Music, London, where he had himself been a student post-war. For 40 years he has been a well-known reviewer/commentator on the radio in addition to supplying many scores for BBC drama productions over the years. He remained active and continued to develop his career as composer from his home in London until the time of his death.

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