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Stevens: Strings Quartets & Quintet / Botbol, Behn Quartet


Release Date: 04/17/2020 
Label:  Divine Art   Catalog #: 25203  
Composer:  Robin Stevens
Performer:  Timothée Botbol
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Behn Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The British composer Robin Stevens is a great talent waiting to be discovered by the global music community. His varied, stimulating and expressive work arises from many influences - from the music of the Romantic era, to mathematics, his faith, and the influence of his main teacher in undergraduate days, John Joubert, and he is now producing substantial works for varied instrumental groupings, which are modernist and original, but yet immediately accessible. This album contains the premiere recording of the String Quintet, an early work from his student days, rich in allusions to early 20th century works, but already containing many of the elements of his later work: tangy harmonies, intricate counterpoint, modal lyricism and often almost Read more neo-Romantic expression. Above all the works are a reflection of the composer and his perceptions of the world and the people around him, yet at the same time universal in their appeal. The two quartets are very different. The first was written in 2008 after the composer had recovered from a 17-year debilitating illness and while his style was developing considerably as he undertook his Doctorate. Its single movement is rich in variety, using a small few thematic ideas in constantly evolving forms. The second, from 2011, is a study of three character types (not necessarily real individuals) which are each distinctive but clearly related. The Behn Quartet is formed of players from England, the Netherlands, Portugal and New Zealand. The group was formed in 2015 and has given recitals at major venues and festivals across Europe. Previously holders of a fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music they are now Associate Ensemble at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

“I can recommend this release. For myself, I found much to enjoy. Outstanding performances. Excellent notes from the composer comprise the accompanying booklet, and the recorded sound is very well balanced and clean.”
- Henry Fogel (Fanfare) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Quintet for Strings in C Minor by Robin Stevens
Performer:  Timothée Botbol (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Behn Quartet
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1980-1981; rev. 2018; England 
2.
Quartet for Strings No. 1 by Robin Stevens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Behn Quartet
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2008; England 
3.
Quartet for Strings No. 2, "Three Portraits" by Robin Stevens
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Behn Quartet
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 2011; England 

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